The amazing projects to destroy the asteroid Apophis

Astéroïde a stupefying dispatch was published a few days ago by the Russian TASS News Agency. Sabit Saitgarayev, research Chief of the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau proposes to launch a nuclear missile at the asteroid 99942 Apophis. According to initial calculations by NASA, which measure about the same 270 m in height must pass near Earth in 2029 and 2036. The Russian researchers proposes to destroy this asteroid with a refurbished nuclear missile. If trajectory calculations have been ripened by NASA and the risk of Armageddon for 2029 seems excluded, researchers from several countries break the head on how to destroy an asteroid that could threaten Earth.

Deflect Apophis, unable to destroy it


nuclear weapons developed by the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at the University of Iowa to counter Apophis. [/ caption]

Discovered in 2004, asteroid 99942 then made the headlines because calculations of NASA set to 2.7% the chances that this asteroid named Apophis would impact the Earth in 2029. A small but very real a major since disaster probability asteroid weighs between 40 to 50 million tons. Since then, new observations made with the large telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona and the Arecibo Observatory have enabled researchers to refine their calculations. Apophis is expected to increase to about 30,000 km of the Earth, the probability of an impact falling 4 chances in a million. The asteroid might carry with it a few satellites but it should not be victims.
Nevertheless, the risk of impact of an asteroid on Earth is far from being zero and researchers are working on ways otherwise destroy at least to influence the trajectory of a celestial object that would have taken the land for target. The idea of a raid of astronauts taking foot on the asteroid to make it jump was very seriously taken by the Americans nor to make explode the asteroid, but simply to study it. The “ Asteroid Deflection Research Center” at the University of Iowa found that a manned mission was possible with the technologies currently controlled by NASA. An Orion vessel must take 4 to 6 astronauts of the Apophis into a 180-day mission. Furthermore researchers have explored a more radical solution with a hypervelocity projectile that will collide with the asteroid to push a nuclear bomb. These researchers have also studied the possibility of sending Minuteman III ballistic missiles and SM-3 Block IIA to intercept last use the asteroid before it struck the United States.

[caption id="attachment_10902" align = "alignright" width = "324"] Among the solutions studied by ESA, the Don Quijote probe must hit the asteroid Apophis to get him to leave its trajectory. Among the solutions studied by ESA, the Don Quijote probe must hit the asteroid Apophis to get him to leave its trajectory.

The Russians, who believe that the asteroid could hit Earth in 2036, have them investigated methods to neutralize the threat before it Apophis to scope of nuclear missile. The mentioned strategy is to divert the asteroid’s trajectory. Interviewed in 2009 Anatoly Perminov head of Rosaviakosmos evoked the remedy, not a nuclear bomb, but the laws of physics. Europe was thus studied Don Quijote, a vessel space “striker” who should come knocking Apophis to alter its trajectory. More original, the solution put forward by Claudio Bombardelli, researcher of the ESA advanced concepts team, the European Space Agency. He proposes to attach an electric motor on the asteroid with two weight attached by cables.) This “engine” will allow to accelerate the speed of rotation to its critical rotation speed which will lead to its disintegration.

The Sun, an ally to counter asteroids

A swarm of mirrors focusing the sunlight could melt Apophis.

A swarm of mirrors focusing the sunlight could melt Apophis.

The approach purely based on the laws of physics is not without elegance. Other researchers have gone to look for another ally: the Sun. Massimiliano Vasile and Christie Alisa Maddock offer for their part to deflect the potentially threatening asteroids through mirrors. By focusing sunlight on one side of the asteroid, it will melt and change of trajectory. Just as “zen”, the solution put forward by China aims to use a solar sail to literally pull Apophis out of its path. Calculations of researchers demonstrated that a veil of 10 kg could only remove Apophis from its course in 1 year.

Still purely theoretical, these techniques will save maybe one day humanity to a killer asteroid. Whether Apophis, an asteroid that has yet to discover.






Translation : Bing Translator

“Russia’s improved ballistic missiles to be tested as asteroid killers”, hurry to the Tass news agency, February 11, 2016

“Proposed Missions Could Deflect Space Rocks Like Asteroid Apophis”,, 30 October 2011

“China Reveals Solar Sail Plan To Prevent Apophis Hitting Earth in 2036”, MIT Technology Review, August 18, 2011

“Russia’s Armageddon plan to save Earth from collision with asteroid”, The Guardian, December 30; 2009

“NASA Refines Asteroid Apophis’ Path Toward Earth”, NASA press release, October 7, 2009

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