Scientists trying to save earthlings from potentially deadly asteroids

Scientists trying to save earthlings from potentially deadly asteroids

Humans could become an extinct species in case a large asteroid directly hits our planet. However, a robotic spacecraft might help save life on Earth by pushing a deadly asteroid off its collision course.

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are examining their Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, which could be launched as early as in 2020.
A team of planetary scientists and space experts recently released a letter at Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde to arouse support for the asteroid-nudging test run, as European officials are preparing to decide whether to move ahead with the mission or not.
While Earth-threatening asteroids are relatively rare, a huge asteroid collision could wipe out a whole, highly populated city in seconds.

Alan Harris, a senior researcher from the German Aerospace Center, said, “We know the approximate number of objects in the different size classes, but we know almost nothing about their characteristics. To prepare for the deflection of an asteroid, we need to know much more.”

NASA’s new asteroid detector, called Scout, is another attempt to save earthlings from a deadly asteroid. This computer program has been designed to detect Near Earth Objects (NEOs), which could be on track to hit Earth in a matter of days or weeks.


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