“The United States military is preparing for a fall of a giant asteroid on Earth for the past 4 months.” This statement made by Isreal News Live TV Channel. Earlier in the year, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States) hinted by talking about this. They mentioned a space object will collide with Earth when it passes through an asteroid field. High Ranking officials, and the leadership of the Pentagon, are aware of this. At the same time, it is important to note that Saturn And Jupiter, protect our planet from such disasters. Saturn and Jupiter attract space debris towards themselves. This time, however, both the planets are in the same sector of the solar system. Assumptions made say that the asteroid will hit the Earth in September of 2020. The assumed diameter of the asteroid is about 84 to 109 meters.
NASA’s Plan to Detect and Destroy Aestroids before they Hit the Earth.
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Plans to deflect potentially hazardous asteroids have been recently updated by NASA. On June, 20 a new report was released. Title: ” National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan”. It is an 18-page document. It was released by The White House of Science and Technology Policy. The document outlined the steps by NASA and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). These steps will take place over the next 10 years. To safeguard Earth from dangerous asteroids and to prepare the country for potential consequences.
Officials of NASA, FEMA, and the White House have discussed the new asteroid mitigation strategies in a teleconference today.
“An asteroid impact is one of the possible scenarios that we must be prepared for,”said Leviticus Lewis, chief of FEMA’s National Response Coordination Branch, told reporters during the teleconference. To this, he added to, saying, “a low-probability but high-consequence event” for which “some degree of preparedness is necessary.”
On the other hand, Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defence officer also had a few words to say. She said, “This plan is an outline not only to enhance the hunt for hazardous asteroids but also to better predict their chances of being an impact threat well into the future and the potential effects that it could have on Earth.
NASA has also made it very clear by saying– “That’s something relegated to the movies — it makes a good movie, but we do not see in our studies any technique that would require the involvement of astronauts” that though protecting Earth from incoming asteroids is a huge job, astronauts will not be doing it.
Ways to Deflect an Asteroid.
Gravity Tractor: This is a spacecraft which catches up with the asteroid, and uses its mutual gravity to slowly steer the asteroid off of its original course. However, to build such a spacecraft, and then send it to the asteroid is a long process, and therefore not very efficient.
2. Kinetic Impactor: This a spacecraft which slams into the asteroid, at a very high speed, causing it to slow down or change its orbital path. Again, with this, the downside is that making such a spacecraft, and sending it to the asteroid is not very efficient, since it takes up a lot of time.
3. Nuclear Explosive: This is a large device that causes an explosion close to the surface of the asteroid. It superheats it and vapourises the surface material. Then the force from the radiated energy will blow the rest of the material to different directions. The only reason, this is dangerous is because; this can cause fragments of the asteroid to hit the Earth, and harm our planet.