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
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
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”, Space.com, 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