How Scientists Plan to Divert Giant Asteroids Away From the Earth’s Path
Do you remember the movie Armageddon? The movie stars Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck as oiler drillers sent to space to destroy an asteroid (the size of Texas) headed straight towards earth. While this isn't Hollywood dramatic, it's still interesting (and scary).
According to FoxCT, there are 12,706 asteroids that could come close to earth. These are being tracked by asteroid hunters, who are a part of the Grand Challenge program, which invites everyday people to help NASA.
Here is the breakdown of the potential danger from these asteroids:
- 1,593 could cross earth's path
- 800 are a kilometer or more in length
- Of those 800, 152 could cross earth's path
In order to reduce the danger, NASA is building a team of scientists from across NASA who are working on different space missions. They will use the combined expertise to develop an American built asteroid lander.
The hope is that the asteroid lander would be able to change the course of an asteroid if it was headed towards earth. It would also be able to bring back a sample of the asteroid for scientists to study.
The article from FoxCT says that NASA has the technology to do it. They have actually built an SUV-sized asteroid for testing their new technologies.
It's good to know that they have the technology to protect us from giant asteroids. I find space fascinating and scary at the same time.
So to lighten the mood, here ya go: