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Circle your calendar. April 13th, 2036 could be a really, really bad day on planet Earth. Most feared is Apophis, a large asteroid that will pass within 10,000 miles of Earth around 2029 and even closer in 2036!!
Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.
At the insistence of former astronauts, the UN has decided to formulate an international action plan to deal with rogue asteroids headed toward Earth. The treaty would delegate responsibilities for stopping an asteroid, set the policies for what risks could be taken to prevent a collision, and coordinate relief efforts in the event of a strike.
Originally posted by neformore
The vid says that no one is aware of it, and its a good point but it strikes me that this stuff would be taken alot more seriously if every presentation on such subjects didn't have someones godawful music on it. Not that I mind the Beatles, but really.......
While those methods promise some fantastic explosions -- and maybe a blockbuster hit -- a team of engineers is looking at a more patient approach. Their weapon: a swarm of nuclear-powered robots that could drill into an asteroid and hurl chunks of it into space with enough force to gradually push it into a non-Earth impacting course.
Originally posted by mikesingh
Four methods are being studied:
> To nudge the asteroid from its path by having a small spaceship fly beside it for 12 days, its gravity being enough to draw the asteroid away from the earth by a planet's radius.
> Land a fairly large satellite on it where the mass of the satellite alone could produce enough gravitational pull to change the asteroid's course.
> Crash a spacecraft into the asteroid in the hopes of changing its course.
> To destroy it with nuclear/chemical devices.
Originally posted by NewWorldOver
We're going to last until 2036? Hey, that's a relief to me. I've been positive we're on the way out by 2020.