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Gigantic Asteroid Will Pass By Earth in 7 Years, Do We Have Defense Against Such Threats?
A minor chance of striking Earth in 2068 was supposed to exist for the near-Earth asteroid, but radar measurements have ruled that out.
According to the findings of a new radar monitoring campaign combined with accurate orbit analysis, researchers have concluded that there is no possibility of Apophis reaching our planet for at least a century.
But what would happen if everyone’s worst-case scenario came into fruition? Do we have plans to battle such devastating disasters?
Fortunately, we do.
A multimillion-dollar spacecraft sent by NASA will hit the asteroid. It will, however, be the first test of a strategy to defend Earth against killer asteroids rather than a catastrophic miscalculation.
Planetary scientist Andy Rivkin of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU-APL) in Laurel, Maryland, which designed the spacecraft for NASA, says, “The odds of anything huge enough to be a problem that we would have to deflect in our lifetimes are quite remote.” “However, your number may come up unexpectedly, so having insurance coverage is a wise idea.”
The spacecraft, known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), was launched from California on November 23rd. Its aim is a pair of asteroids that orbit the Sun together as they journey through space (see ‘A not-so-gentle nudge’).
Dimorphos, the asteroid that NASA is slamming into, is not a threat to Earth. On the other hand, researchers want to test whether they can adjust its course long before they need to use it to deflect a genuinely deadly asteroid.
Everything required to identify the likelihood and warn of a prospective asteroid or comet collisions with Earth and then avert or reduce their consequences are called planetary defense.
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