This Is What NASA Is Doing To Prevent A Disastrous Asteroid Strike.
At the time, Holdren stated, 'The odds of a near-Earth object strike causing massive causalities and destruction of infrastructure are very small, but the potential consequences of such an event are so large that it makes sense to take the risk seriously,'
Two years later, Congress placed an expectation on NASA to 'detect, track, and characterize 90 percent of these spare rocks —those near-Earth asteroids larger than 459 feet feet (140 m).' Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, predicted that too small of a budget would prevent complete success.
The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM)
Although it is still in the planning stages, NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is expected to launch by the end of 2021.
Here's more about it from the official site:
'NASA is developing a first-ever robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid, collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon. Once it’s there, astronauts will explore it and return with samples in the 2020s. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of NASA’s plan to advance the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s.'
The mission is focusing on advancing the human path to Mars, ensuring a stable orbit, and redirecting the asteroid away from Earth.
'The robotic mission also will demonstrate planetary defense techniques to deflect dangerous asteroids and protect Earth if needed in the future. NASA will choose an asteroid mass for capture with a size and mass that cannot harm the Earth, because it would burn up in the atmosphere. In addition to ensuring a stable orbit, redirecting the asteroid mass to a distant retrograde orbit around the moon also will ensure it will not hit Earth.'
What do scientists want us to know about asteroids?
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Dr. Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx. and professor of planetary science, says that it is important for people to understand the reality of asteroids.
It may be romantic and exciting to recall scenes in Star Wars when thinking of the asteroid belt, but on average, asteroids are actually hundreds of thousands of miles away from each other.
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