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SCI/TECH: Priority Given for Mission to Deflect an Asteroid in Case of Potential Threat

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posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 01:14 AM
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The European Space Agency has given priority to a mission that would study the effects on a deflected asteroid over five other planned missions. The Mission has been named "Don Quijote," which is the main character in the famous Miguel De Cervantes' novel. Two spacecrafts will be involved in the mission named "Sancho" and "Hidalgo."


Crash Planning: Mission to Deflect an Asteroid
Scientists don't know enough about asteroid insides to predict how one would respond to attempts to nudge it off an Earth-impact course or turn it into harmless dust. While no asteroids are currently known to be on track to hit the planet, experts say a regional catastrophe is inevitable in the very long run, over millennia. And run-ins with small asteroids that could incinerate a large city occur ever few thousand years.

Hidalgo would crash into the asteroid at about 22,370 mph (10 kilometers per second).

Sancho would observe from a safe distance, then move in for a closer look. It would study changes in the asteroid's orbit, rotation and structure caused by the impact, said Willy Benz, a member of the mission's study team from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Funding is still required and the mission is only in the first stages of planning, but it has been recommended as the highest priority for further studies according to the article.

Related News

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Moon Base Would Scan The Sky, And Deflect Threats To Eartht


[edit on 20-7-2004 by Banshee]




posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 05:04 AM
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This should have been a priority since the birth of the space program. Better now than too late. Im going to be keep track of these missions and see what we can do to these rocks. At least the mission has been given priority.



posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 01:37 PM
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I'm just really baffled... why the sudden interest in asteroid deflection? I mean, really... first we get Aussie Bloke (who ripped off all his info from some other guy who never did make claims, just presented info), then the British start their emergency disaster drills or whatever, and now like 3 or 4 different programs trying to figure out how to deflect an asteroid! I remember this basically started in the mid-90's with a couple ideas and theories, but why the sudden boom within the last 6 months or so? Things that make ya go 'Hmmm...'


EDIT: I also agree with jrod... this should've been a priority since the first time we shot a manned rocket into the upper atmosphere.

[edit on 15-7-2004 by Earthscum]



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 11:31 PM
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I'm adding to this older post because the article I was reading below mentions the European Space Agency project.

news.aol.com...

The discussion now focuses around the costs to search for and catalogue near earth objects. While I understand the concern over the costs and the burden of having NASA take on the brunt of such a project, I would hope that, as the years progress, the importance of such a task will be maintained. I'd hate to think with so many lives potentially at stake, that money is yet again the driving motivation.

Also, if and when a potential object is located, the costs to deter it in some way would probably be astronomical. I suppose there's no way of avoiding financial realities though I would like to think the world focus in such a circumstance will be on saving lives and land. Then again, all my friends call me an optimist.



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