NASA and ESA Form a Super-Science Team-Up to Protect Us From Asteroids
We don't wanna miss a thing. Except maybe getting hit by an asteroid.
It happened to the dinosaurs – and there’s a good chance it might happen to us. Well, not US-us, because anyone reading this might be long dead by the time that sort of thing happens. But STILL. It’s good to have a plan. Thankfully, NASA is teaming up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to come up with one.
They’re working on a series of separate, but connected missions referred to as Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessments (AIDA) to develop a system that would potentially stop or divert an oncoming asteroid before it kills us all. These wouldn’t be starting for another five years.
As reported by Blastr, it would work like this:
The ESA is working on an Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft, which will travel to a binary asteroid system with a 2,625-foot-wide asteroid, which is orbited by a smaller object nicknamed “Didymoon.” The ESA craft will launch in 2020 to observe the asteroid, while NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) project will basically fly a craft into “Didymoon” at 13,420 mph in 2022, in an effort to see if the impact could potentially knock it off track.
It’s cool to see different world organizations teaming up to defend humanity. And yup, Europe’s job would be to observe and record, and the US’s job is basically to crash into it and possibly blow it up. Might as well do what we’re good at, right? Up top!
No? No, huh. You’re right. No. I’ll show myself out.
(image via Kevin Gill on Flickr)
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