If Earth is ever in danger from an asteroid, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and members of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) think we’ll be able to stop it.

The asteroid Apophis has a 1 in 250,000 chance of hitting Earth in April 2036, but seven other asteroids that are much further away than Apophis have a greater chance of hitting Earth.

“It’s a statistical certainty that one day the Earth will get hit by a large asteroid, whether that’s in 50 years or 100 million years,” said NEEMO principal investigator Mike Gernhardt.

NASA’s NEEMO unit is already at work trying to figure out how humans would explore asteroids. If we can launch astronauts into deep space and explore asteroids, we’ll get a better idea of how we can defend the planet from them by understanding their composition.

Gernhardt says the two most likely options for defending Earth would be finding a way to shift an asteroid’s course or to break the asteroid into smaller pieces.

“We don’t really know the right answer for that, but the more we know about asteroids, the better informed we’ll be to defend the Earth against an asteroid hit in the future,” Gernhardt said.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: http://youtu.be/hl7msH2Swq4 ; http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/21/nasa-blow-up-an-asteroid-video/

Share →

SSERVI Science Teams

Inspiration Room

NLSI Inspiration Room

Upcoming Events

  1. 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop

    February 8 @ 8:00 am PST - February 11 @ 5:00 pm PST
  2. Journey Through the Universe

    March 4 @ 8:00 am PST - March 11 @ 5:00 pm PST
  3. Microsymposium 57: Polar Volatiles on the Moon and Mercury

    March 19 - March 20
  4. LPSC

    March 21 @ 8:00 am PST - March 25 @ 5:00 pm PST
  5. European Geosciences Union

    April 17 @ 8:00 am PST - April 22 @ 5:00 pm PST
  6. 4th European Lunar Symposium

    May 18 @ 8:00 am PST - May 19 @ 5:00 pm PST
  7. Exploration Science Forum 2016

    July 20 @ 8:00 am PST - July 22 @ 5:00 pm PST
  8. COSPAR 2016

    July 30 @ 8:00 am PST - August 7 @ 5:00 pm PST