Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Russians considering rocket to move asteroid off course!

Recently, in a move that has left other space capable countries a bit bemused, Russia is considering sending a space-craft to the Apophis asteroid in hopes of changing its' course and preventing a collision with Earth, a collision that NASA has deemed highly unlikely.

Apophis is an 885-foot asteroid that was first discovered in 2004. Astronomers at one point thought the chances of hitting Earth on one of its' flybys as low as 1 in 37, however the lowest estimate of a collision is now set at 1 in 45,000 for the 2036 pass. What is a bit disconcerting about the 2036 estimate is that it was once 1 in 250,000, so the chances are much higher in 2036 even though they are still stacked well against the asteroid striking Earth even then.

The head of Russia's space agency, Anatoly Perminov disagrees with NASSA's assessment saying, that he heard from a scientist that Apophis is getting closer and may hit the planet.

From the article:
  • Perminov wouldn't disclose any details of the project, saying they still need to be worked out. But he said the mission wouldn't require any nuclear explosions.

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