Russia working on means to destroy dangerous asteroids hurtling toward Earth
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Dec 13, 2019
Humongous space rocks fly past Earth on a regular basis, and have in the past collided with our planet, leading to unparalleled mass-extinctions. To make matters worse, some of them are known to fly at trajectories which allow them to sneak up on our planet before scientists can even spot them, much less evaluate the threat they pose.
Russian scientists are researching technologies which could allow humanity to counteract the threat of dangerous space rocks, Igor Bakaras, head of the Information and Analytical Center for Ensuring the Safety of Space Activities in Near-Earth Outer Space at Rosocosmos's TsNIIMash rocket and spacecraft scientific center, has said.
According to the official, the research includes a variety of proposals on how to destroy or change the orbit of threatening celestial objects, including work involving the concept of kinetic impact, using satellites to move an asteroid out of a dangerous trajectory by using a method known as 'gravitational tug', and the use of various technological solutions for these purposes, including rocket engines and solar sails.
"At present, work in these areas is limited largely to theoretical research and the mathematical modelling of various countermeasures," Bakaras explained.
According to the official, the technical implementation of these measures is currently hampered by the lack of accurate data on the characteristics celestial bodies and their movement, structure and physical and chemical properties.
In addition to these efforts, Roscosmos is working to create a new Russian Centre for Small Celestial Bodies, charged with detecting and tracking of celestial bodies, including space dust, meteors, comets and asteroids approaching Earth. The centre will interact with Roscosmos, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia's Emergencies Ministry and the Foreign Ministry. It will also exchange information with foreign governments and international organisations.
The new monitoring system will be created by consolidating existing monitoring systems and capacities into a single network, including the so-called Automated Warning System for Dangerous Situations in Near-Earth Outer Space.
Meteor Strikes Take Place More Often Than Most People Think
"In the entire history of the existence of modern man (about 100,000 years), there have been no such collisions," the official noted.
At the same time, Barakas pointed out that an asteroid with a diameter of 1 km across, which would be enough to cause a global catastrophe and leave an impact crater of about 20 km, strikes the planet once every million years or so.
Even asteroids with a diameter of just 100 meters across can cause major devastation, including a 2 km-wide blast crater, or tsunamis which could threaten coastal cities if they land in the ocean. Such events take place every three thousand years or so. As for smaller space rocks (15-20 meters in diameter), such as the so-called Chelyabinsk meteor, which struck the Russian region of Chelyabinsk in 2013, these enter Earth's atmosphere approximately once every thirty years.
Russian scientists have studied a broad range of options for combating the threat of errant asteroids over the past decades, including a proposal to use converted intercontinental ballistic missiles.
However, earlier this year, a comprehensive study by the department of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University studying the physics of asteroid collisions revealed that it may actually be a lot more difficult to carry out the destruction of large space rocks than previously believed.
Source: RIA Novosti
Researcher calls on amateur astronomers to help with mission to prevent future asteroid impacts
Belfast UK (SPX) Nov 30, 2019
A Queen's University Belfast researcher is calling on amateur astronomers to help with a European-wide mission helping to prevent future asteroid impacts. Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen's is a senior mission advisor for the European Space Agency's (ESA) Hera spacecraft. Hera is part of humanity's first deep space test of planetary defence against asteroids. It will also be humankind's first probe to rendezvous with a binary asteroid system. This is ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|