Friday, October 2, 2015


In a few years from now, scientists will try to push an asteroid off its orbital path.
It's not a case of "because they CAN"…it's actually a practice run for
saving the world!
So the joint US-European AIDA (Asteroid Deflection and Assessment) mission will crash a probe into a small asteroid called 65803 Didymos. It's only 160m wide, but the test will show if in principle a much larger asteroid threatening to wipe out human civilisation can be deflected the same.
Two spacecraft, one kamikaze and the other to monitor the effect, will be launched in October 2020. They'll travel about 6million km and reach the target mid-2022.
Dr Patrick Michel, lead investigator for the European Space Agency: "To protect Earth from potentially hazardous impacts, we need to understand asteroids much better - what they are made of, their structure, origins and how they respond to collisions."
Planet Earth has had a couple of near misses in the last few years: an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier wizzed by - closer than the Moon! - in late 2011.
And let's not forget that on 13 April 2029, an asteroid called 99942 Apophis will miss us by a mere 35,000km, a hair's breadth in astronomical terms. Apophis is the size of a football field, enough mass to cause widespread devastation should it ever collide with Earth. It too will be well within the orbit of the moon. That's damn better to be safe than sorry.
After all, if/when the situation is for REAL, Bruce Willis will be too far into his dotage to save us!

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

Is it too late to take out some life insurance?