Chinese scientists plan to launch more than 20 rockets into space to divert the impact of an asteroid, which is unlikely to kill life on Earth one day.
Your target is an asteroid named Bennu, a space rock of 85.5 million tons (77.5 million metric tons) that is expected to fall into the Earth’s orbit of 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers) between 2175 and 2199 Inside. Although Bennu has a great chance of hitting the Earth, this asteroid is small, only one in 2,700, as wide as the Empire State Building, which means that any collision with the Earth will be catastrophic.
The kinetic energy of Bennu’s impact on the Earth is estimated to be 1,200 megatons, which is about 80,000 times the energy of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Live Science previously reported that, by contrast, the space rocks that wiped out the dinosaurs provided approximately 100 million megatons of energy. Related
: 7 Strangest Asteroids: Strange Space Rocks in the Solar System It is necessary to deflect the asteroid from the deadly path nearly 6,000 miles (9,000 kilometers) -1.4 times the radius of Earth. Their calculations are detailed in a new study to be published in the journal Icarus on November 1.
This is a mosaic image of the asteroid Bennu from NASA’s OSIRISREx spacecraft.
Mosaic image of the asteroid Bennu, taken by NASA’s OSIRISREX spacecraft.
(Image Source: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona)
“An asteroid impact poses a major threat to all life on Earth,” Li Mingtao, space science engineer at the National Center for Space Sciences in Beijing and lead author of the new study, he wrote in On Paper. “Asteroid deflection into impact orbits is essential to alleviate this threat.”
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Chinese scientists’ plan will avoid the need to stop asteroids in more direct but dangerous ways, like the atomic bomb method promoted by Bruce Willis in the movie “The End of the World.” In fact, a nuclear attack on an incoming space rock will break it into multiple small pieces that can still collide with the earth, with devastating consequences.
China’s plan follows similar but slightly more expensive proposals made by the United States in the past. NASA’s plan , called the Hypervelocity Asteroid Emergency Response Mission (HAMMER), will dispatch a fleet of 30-foot-tall (9-meter) spacecraft equipped with impact hammers to pull out r to the asteroid from its orbit. NASA simulations show that the HAMMER spacecraft, launched 10 years before Bennu hit Earth, made 3,453 impacts to move the asteroid.
NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) will be the first to test a new asteroid thrust method in two joint missions launched on November 24 this year. The DART (Dual Asteroid Redirection) mission will send a spacecraft that will reach the far 7 million miles (11 million kilometers) Didymos asteroid system in a year. Once there, NASA’s spacecraft will collide with the rocky Didymos satellite orbiting the asteroid. The ESA Hera mission will monitor how DART deflects the moon.
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Bennu is a B-type asteroid, which means that it contains a lot of carbon and may contain many primitive molecules that existed when life appeared on Earth. NASA has sent a spacecraft called OsirisRex to find samples of asteroids. OsirisRex arrived above Bennu in October 2020 and hovered long enough above it to pick up loose debris from its surface with a 10-foot (3 meter) arm. OsirisRex is expected to return to Earth with the spoils in 2023.
Long March 5 rockets are the main force of China’s space program. It has completed most of the deliveries to the Chinese space station and launched Chinese probes to Mars and the Moon. In the past, these rockets have attracted attention due to their uncontrolled return to Earth. In May, the 22-ton (20metric-ton) portion of the Long March 5 rocket fell to earth, either burning or landing in the waters near the Arabian Peninsula. In May 2020, rocket fragments are believed to have smashed into two towns in Côte d’Ivoire before March 5.

By Peter

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