Russia is planning to knock off an asteroid that is bound for our planet Earth.
An asteroid, the size of 270m was discovered in the year 2004, much closer to Earth than any other asteroid or object. Astronomers estimated that this asteroid, which is called Apophis, would crash into planet Earth in the year 2029. The chances of this happening are 1:37. Now, this is a very high probability to be taken lightly. So, Russia is out to save the Earth from any such disaster. They will be launching a spacecraft to knock the asteroid off its path, and avoid any possible collision with our planet.
The Russian Space Agency is holding a meeting to decide on the mission. They will then invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency, along with other related agencies, to join the project once the plan is finalized. Anatoly Perminov, director of Russian Federal Space Agency said, “I don’t remember exactly, but it seems to me it could hit the Earth by 2032. People’s lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people. Calculations show that it’s possible to create a special purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision without destroying it (the asteroid) and without detonating any nuclear charges. The threat of collision can be averted.”
The chances of Apophis colliding with the Earth are the highest in the years 2029, 2032, 2036, and 2068. All the years have different threat levels, but nothing can be pin-pointed at this point of time. And work on the mission will need to start immediately, so as to be ready for any action in time.