Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, October 31, 2005

NASA announces plans to deflect klller asteroid

By Aussiegirl

Rest easy, folks -- if you've been spending sleepless nights worrying over bird flu, nuke terror attacks, global warming, or killer asteroids you can strike one worry off your list. NASA has just announced plans to deflect an asteroid which is on a possible collision course with earth in the 2036.

NASA sets schedule for handling asteroid threat - Space News - MSNBC.com

NASA has outlined what it could do, and in what time frame, in case a quarter-mile-wide asteroid named Apophis is on a course to slam into Earth in the year 2036. The timetable was released by the B612 Foundation, a group that is pressing NASA and other government agencies to do more to head off threats from near-Earth objects.

The plan runs like this: Eight years from now, if there's still a chance of a collision in 2036, NASA would start drawing up plans to put a probe on the space rock or in orbit around it in 2019. Measurements sent back from the probe would characterize Apophis' course to an accuracy of mere yards (meters) by the year 2020.

If those readings still could not rule out a strike in 2036, NASA would try to deflect the asteroid into a non-threatening course in the 2024-2028 time frame by firing an impactor at it — using this year's Deep Impact comet-blasting probe as a model. Experts would start planning for the "Son of Deep Impact" mission even before they knew whether or not it was needed.


1 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

Thanks, Aussiegirl, for finding this very interesting article. I can always count on you to post all sorts of informative and useful items, not only political items (prefaced with your usual insightful comments) but also those concerned with literature, language, culture, music--surely the most comprehensive blog that I know of. Reading about these scientific advances makes me humble to think of the great talent and genius that created the mathematics--or is math already out there and discovered, not created, by us?--and physics that allows us to pinpoint the position of a heavenly body so precisely! Why am I reminded of Hebrews 2:7--"Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour"?

 

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