Chinese researchers want to send more than 20 rockets to practice asteroid deflection away from Earth.
Scientists at the National Space Science Center in China It was discovered in simulations that 23 Long March 5 rockets, weighing 900 tons when they leave the planet, when they collide simultaneously can deflect asteroid Its original trajectory is approximately nine thousand kilometers, 1.4 times the radius of the Earth.
The Long March 5B was also the kind that China badly let in free fall in May this year, traveling around the world every 90 minutes, too fast for space agencies to know where it’s going to land. Fortunately, it disintegrated over the Indian Ocean.
The probability of an asteroid hitting Earth is low, but one, 78 billion kilograms Bennu, has been the subject of research.
Bennu is classified as a type B asteroid, which means that it contains a lot of carbon along with many other minerals, and was formed over 4.5 billion years ago. As a primitive artifact preserved in the vacuum of space, an asteroid could contain particles that were developed when life was developing on Earth. Ironically, this would also be the end of life on Earth.
Between the years 2175 and 2199, Bennu will approach 7.5 million kilometers from Earth’s orbit and will be classified as potentially dangerous. Although the probability of Bennu hitting Earth is only one in 2,700, that risk is enough to get scientists worried because of the amount of devastation the asteroid could cause.
It would take a huge amount of kinetic energy to deflect an asteroid, but nuclear energy risks breaking an asteroid like Bennu into pieces that can smash into Earth. This makes sending multiple missiles, which will have to travel for three years before reaching their target, a more practical option.
“[Es] “It is possible to defend against large asteroids with nuclear-free technology within 10 years,” researcher Li Mingtao was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying.
Fuel that is not used during the launch of the rocket can give additional thrust, as well as increase the total mass of the rocket, making the deflect more efficient. The researchers suggest that current missiles will require only a few minor modifications, such as adding a propellant, to be mission-ready.
The US is planning a similar project called HAMMER (Hyperfast Asteroid Emergency Response Mission), which will send more material – 400 tons of missiles – to Bennu; It would also make the flight faster, as it would only take two years to reach the asteroid.
However, this plan is more expensive and will take more time to prepare. The United States will need to detect the asteroid 25 years before a potential collision, while the Chinese plan will only need a decade’s notice.
NASA also sent a spacecraft after Bennu to collect samples from the asteroid. Osiris Rex flew over the asteroid before descending his ten-foot-long arm and picking up loose particles from the rock.
NASA expects Osiris-Rex to return to Earth, along with its samples, in 2023.