With a raging COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing anyone will think of is another possible way the world could crumble. For scientists at China’s National Space Science Center, that’s exactly what they’re focusing on, Yahoo News reported.
- Their concern: “Armageddon” by an asteroid, Reuters reported.
Chinese scientists want to practice turning a significant asteroid away from Earth using a fleet of rockets, The Daily Mail reported. This plan could be crucial to saving humanity if a large enough asteroid is on a collision course for our planet.
What is China̵
7;s plan to prevent an asteroid from causing Armageddon?
Chinese scientists have a plan to launch 23 of China’s long rockets from March 5, which will simultaneously hit the asteroid and push it 5,592 miles off course, The Daily Mail said. The conversion would knock the asteroid off course by 1.4 times the Earth’s radius and successfully avoid a collision.
- These rockets will travel for three years before hitting the asteroid, Yahoo News reported.
- China’s plan will only require a decade – long warning to prepare and launch the rockets in time to prevent a collision, according to Yahoo News.
According to Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of the Astrophysics Research Center at Queen’s University Belfast:
- “The proposal to keep the top phase of the launch rocket for a control spacecraft that makes a large ‘kinetic impactor’ to deflect an asteroid is a pretty good concept,” according to Reuters.
In fact, China is not the only country with an asteroid preparation plan. The United States has also developed an asteroid action plan called HAMMER – which stands for Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response, Yahoo News reported.
- The U.S. plan involves launching 34 to 35 rockets that would travel for two years before hitting an asteroid in an attempt to destroy it, The Daily Mail said.
- For the HAMMER plan to succeed, an asteroid must be discovered 25 years before the possible collision, according to Yahoo News.
Could China’s asteroid preparation plan actually work?
China’s plan to divert an asteroid off Earth is a lower risk alternative than destroying the asteroid. Scientists agree that the destruction of an asteroid may not change the path to smaller fragments per second. Reuters.
- The remaining asteroid fragments could still hit Earth and cause serious damage, Yahoo News reported.
Do we need to worry about an asteroid colliding with Earth?
Generally no. The chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth are very low, but the damage could be serious, Reuters reported.
- There is an asteroid by and large – called Bennu – that is currently orbiting the sun coming within 4.6 million miles of Earth, The Daily Mail said.
- The chances of Bennu hitting the ground are 1 in 2,700, but researchers believe the potential devastation is enough to justify concern, Yahoo News reported.