Just this week, the crew aboard the International Space Station had to take shelter in its emergency quarters after a piece of a destroyed Chinese satellite passed “danger close” to the orbiting outpost, sharply reminding the space community of the dangers posed by space debris. The rest of us will get our reminder in November, when a massive asteroid will make a close flyby of Earth at a distance of just 0.85 lunar distances.
Russia's proposal for an Armageddon-style mission to deflect the space rock Apophis seemed bold, but it's not the only one fretting about a catastrophic impact on Earth. The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) released a new report that calls for an international asteroid defense agency that can organize a proper mission to counter possible asteroid threats, New Scientist reports.
Leave it to Russia to jumpstart the long-debated idea of deflecting killer asteroids that might threaten Earth. A top Russian space official announced just prior to the New Year that he wants to put together a mission for heading off the space rock Apophis, which represents a poster child of sorts for the risk of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). But NASA astronomers caution that a failed deflection attempt could simply make matters worse.
NEOSSat will be the first spacecraft dedicated to identifying potentially dangerous space rocks
By Gregory Mone
Posted 05.08.2008 at 9:51 am 1 Comment
In 2009, Canada plans to launch a suitcase-sized spacecraft that will be charged with spotting asteroids that could be on a collision course with Earth. There's already a big ground-based program underway. NASA regularly identifies and tracks asteroids, calculating the likelihood that they could at some point run into our pale blue dot.
An asteroid discovered only last year readies to pass a hair's distance from Earth
By Gregory Mone
Posted 01.28.2008 at 12:47 pm 0 Comments
Make sure you dont miss this one. Asteroid 2007 TU24 will be as close to Earth as it has been in 2,000 years, and it wont get any closer in this century. With a diameter of around 800 feet, the space rock is large enough to cause some serious damage if it was ever to strike our pale blue dot, but astronomers say that is not a possibility.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.