Asteroid collision course sends UN into frenzy
By Alex Zaharov-Reutt
The possibility that an asteroid will strike the Earth on Sunday, April 13 2036 has reverberated across the globe, with the world’s citizens wondering what anyone is doing about it with the UN at least two years away from version 1 of an anti asteroid plan.
Is an asteroid really coming to hit the Earth and cause an ‘extinction level event’, similar to that which wiped out the dinosaurs? Scientists say it just might happen, with an Asteroid called Apophis having a 1 in 45,000 chance of impact.
Given that’s considerably smaller than a 1 in a million chance of happening, the UN is worried enough that it will begin planning on how Earth will deal with an oncoming asteroid.
While conventional wisdom is to blow it up with nuclear weapons, as Bruce Willis did in the movie ‘Armageddon’, scientists say this could backfire by splitting the asteroid up into smaller pieces, most of which are still on a collision course with our small blue planet.
One of the current plans is to send out a spacecraft to intercept the asteroid, and then use the spacecraft’s gravitational pull to shift the asteroid’s course – just as a small tug boat can pull an aircraft carrier.
Thankfully, there’s still plenty of time for us to truly get prepared for the arrival of Apophis, with the potential of plenty of advancement in spaceflight technologies. Were the asteroid arriving next week, our options would be much more limited.
Still, it’s thanks to modern technology that the world’s scientists have been able to scan the sky and look for asteroids that could easily end the world as we know it. Let’s hope this genuine asteroid scare unifies humanity in accelerating spaceflight technologies, not only so we can protect ourselves from cataclysmic asteroids impacts, but colonize the moon, our solar system, our galaxy and beyond as it would seem we were meant to do.
After all, there are so many resources up there that are just waiting for us to use. While we’re in no danger of running out immediately of any of the resources we take for granted, despite the recent oil shocks and rises in commodity prices, our own solar system is a rich treasure trove of all the resources and even living space that we could possibly want for the foreseeable future.If a possible asteroid impact dramatically speeds up the development of the required technology, turning science fiction into science reality, we’ll all be better off – and who doesn’t want that?
, NASA NEA Site