Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Don Quijote" Tilting At Asteroids Now

Remember the Apophis asteroid? The 1,600-foot-wide near-Earth asteroid which NASA said had a chance of around one in 250,000 of hitting Earth in 2036. Well it seems that ESA's Don Quijote spacecraft is going to take a whack at it in 2015, with the hopes that it can deflect the asteroid.

Don Quijote only weighs in at 1,100 pounds but it will be traveling at six miles a second so there is a chance that it might have a miniscule effect. Me? I would have to say that 250k in 1 against a hit, would be something to leave alone. Even though it is going very fast, the added energy is not going to matter much.

However that has not stopped China from weighing in with the same stunt! A team at Beijing's Tsinghua University, is planning to send a tiny 20-some-pound on a reverse orbit with gravity assist from Earth and smack Apophis doing 200k mph! Check out that story here

Apophis info here

No comments: