Airbus chose the available technology instead of building a new spacecraft from scratch for a simple reason: astronomers could only spot an asteroid that collided with the Earth not long ago. The diversion task may take 6 to 18 months to reach the goal, and the engineers only have about 6 months left to prepare the ship.
“In the past few decades, asteroid detection has improved a lot,” Falke said. “There is a huge observation program, mainly supported by NASA. Therefore, you should know all asteroids that are 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) or larger in size. But, of course, some could not be observed in the past because their orbit was six to eight years, and their last approach may be before these telescopes were installed in their place, “he added.
In theory, this is possible. Falke added that a threatening asteroid will be discovered tomorrow, just months after the devastating encounter with Earth. Smaller celestial bodies, such as the Chelyabinsk asteroid in 2013, caused a shock wave that caused around 1,200 injuries in Russia, which they can be
To be able to carry out earth rescue missions in orbit, the telecommunications satellite must be equipped with a special module that can carry out communications in deep space and approach the asteroid. Navigation and guidance These modules have not yet been developed. Ideally, they will be built and tested in advance, and prepared in the event of an emergency.
“We need to make specific plans for how to make this deflection module and place it on the telecommunications platform,” Falke said. “Therefore, before putting this deflection system on the launch pad, we need to conduct very fast testing and identification activities.”
According to Falke, humans should be prepared. If a 300-meter-wide asteroid, as predicted in the Airbus study, hits somewhere in central Europe, it will cause widespread damage across the European continent.
“Such an impact generates shock waves, and can also cause fires and earthquakes,” Falke said. “A lot of material will be thrown into the atmosphere and then it will move away from the impact zone. I believe that all of Europe must be evacuated, and all animals and plants will be destroyed in the months and years after this happens. An impact “.
Falke Be careful whether asteroids over 1000 feet (300 m) in diameter can still be deflected using this method. But this is an important question. The asteroid that caused the dinosaurs to die about 60 million years ago is believed to be at least 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) in diameter.
“If the asteroid gets bigger [over 1,000 feet], it will get more difficult,” Falke said. “But the good news is that such a large object will be known a long time in advance, so we have time to prepare.”
Humans appear to be in a better position than dinosaurs. The world’s first asteroid deflection experiment is scheduled for next year, when a NASA mission called DART is expected to hit an asteroid moon Dimorphos, orbiting a larger asteroid, Didymos. The goal is to use a 270-pound (600-kg) spacecraft to change Didymos’s 520-foot-wide (160-meter) orbit. The 4,444 research results were announced at the 2021 Planetary Defense Conference. 4,444 Follow Tereza Pultarova on Twitter @TerezaPultarova. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.
Tereza is a technology journalist, aspiring novelist and amateur gymnast in London. She is originally from Prague, Czech Republic. During the first seven years of her career, she worked as a reporter, screenwriter and presenter of various TV shows on the Czech Public Service Television. Later, he took a break in his career, continued his education, and obtained a master of science degree from the International Space University in France, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Charles University in Prague. She has worked as a reporter for Engineering and Technology magazine, as a freelance writer for various publications such as Live Science, Space.com, Professional Engineering, Via Satellite and Space News, and as a cover editor for maternity science at the Space Agency. Europe.