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Mankind's greatest challenge to save the world from catastrophic asteroid impacts

A group of planetary scientists and former astronauts fighting to save the world from catastrophic asteroid impacts claim that there is a big hole in our defense strategy and we are "hit".

Millions of asteroids on a possible collision course with Earth They will go undetected and could extinguish humanity at any time.

The B61

2 Foundation is a non-profit organization with former astronauts, scientists, mission planners and others focused on protecting the Earth from a catastrophic asteroid

The organization is led by former astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart and works with major international institutions on research, science and technological projects in the field of planetary defense. But it is a mammoth task that the earth is currently wide open to be hit by an asteroid without us even knowing.

NASA was instructed by Congress in 2005 to find 90 percent of the asteroids with a diameter of at least 140 meters. Since then, it has been found that those observed so far pose no immediate danger. But of the millions of 15-140 m range asteroids estimated to be "near the earth," only about 18,000 are tracked worldwide, most of which are not even located, monitored, or cataloged.

An incoming asteroid, by atomizing it, vaporizing it with the help of lasers, sending a space tracer to deflect it off course, or poking it in a new direction, none of it will be useful unless we first discover the threat.

B612 President Danica Remy, who also heads the Organization's Asteroid Institute program, said news.com.au that there are several operational telescopes worldwide that can detect asteroids on trajectories to Earth but they can only choose

"The field of view of the telescopes is very small and the sky is very big," said Remy.

"We can currently determine in advance if any of the 18,000 asteroids we have observed will hit us, but we would only know if any of the seven million l, which we have not observed, are on a trajectory for Earth when a land-based telescope observed it.

"It could be selected, but it is more likely that it would not have happened and that we would only find it out on impact. "

The tools and resources needed to detect and track all near-Earth asteroids are so costly and extensive that it would take decades to reach them, but according to Ms. Remy, it is a target to which She said systems for planetary defense would probably determine the fate of humanity. "" It's 100 percent sure we're hit, but we're not one hundred percent sure when, "she said Russian Chelyabinsk rained a meteor across the sky that caused explosions in 2013 and injured hundreds of people Photo / AP "srcset =" // www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/wJamBis5uFCZpL_xgRlMIhB6c_I=/320×176/smart/filters:quality(70 ) /arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/public/JLSKWUWHGVC35HNH37KEDSQQP4.jpg 320w, // www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/DOo5ZneUJm2MN7vG7yv5KCsD-54=/375×206/smart/filters:quality ( 70) /arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/publi c / JLSKWUWHGVC35HNH37KEDSQQP4.jpg 375w, // www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/Y8bUjc1sv5biJ0DF5zVflVJmvSM=/620×340/smart/filters:quality(70)/arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/public /JLSKWUWHGVC35HNH37KEDSQQP4.jpg 620w "/>

A meteor swept across the sky in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, causing hundreds of explosions and injuries in 2013. Photo / AP

According to Ms. Remy, the first step in tracking down all near-Earth asteroids and diverting the dangerous from our influence on our planet is "to increase our detection rate".

"Right now we are" We are slowly moving forward in our discoveries: The world discovers about 1000 asteroids per year and we want to accelerate that detection rate to 100,000 per year, but have no space instruments or telescopes for it, "she said. [19659003] "We must find them before they find us." [1 9659003] "POTENTIAL DEVASTING CONSEQUENCES"

In its 4.5-billion-year history, the earth has been repeatedly smashed by space rocks, all of a harmless splash in the sky Nobody knows, but the pressure is to predict and intercept its arrival for "potentially devastating consequences."

"We just have to look back in history to see Evidence for this, "Remy said.

In 2013, 19m The asteroid exploded near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and triggered more than 30 times the kinetic Energy of Hiroshima – bomb.

The resulting shock wave blew out the windows of nearly 5,000 buildings, injuring more than 1,200 people.

"There was no warning time for this asteroid … the world experienced it when it hit," Ms. Remy said.

In 1908, an asteroid struck Siberia and destroyed an area the size of London.

The blast reduced some 80 million trees on 2000 sparsely populated square kilometers.

"And then there's the 10km asteroid that killed dinosaurs and 70 percent of the existing species almost 66 million years ago," Remy said.

But near the earth Objects whizzing on or towards the earth are somehow The Minor Planet Center, which operates under the International Astronomical Union as the official worldwide organization for collecting observational data for asteroids, has alone in discovered 133 "near-Earth objects" this month. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, after Mrs. Remy.

"We just had one that passed between Earth and the Moon last week," she said.

"There are millions of them – we just can

" We are hit by a strong impact a few times a year. "

  A radar image of an asteroid racing through space in 2015. Photo / NASA
A Radar image of an asteroid racing through space in 2015. Photo / NASA

The B612 Foundation is currently exploring various options to achieve its goals of mapping and tracking all near-Earth objects, but it is not the only organization in this case.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly recommended tasks for a scientific-technical subgroup of the Committee for the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) to coordinate the international response to a near-surface object collision of an International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN), (19659003) "The alert group is working to develop a potentially dangerous asteroid that will be sent to Earth mt, to understand exactly, "said Remy.

"We investigate how synthetic tracking technology works A space mission could complement other telescopes by finding and tracking the large component of asteroids used by land-based telescopes – including Large Synoptic Survey Telescopes (LSST) – and infrared space telescopes NASA's proposed NEOCam will be overlooked. "

LSST, which is currently under construction, will investigate the sky for more than 10 years for several scientific applications, including the search for dangerous asteroids. It is expected to be operational in 2023.

"It will provide an unprecedented amount of new asteroid data when it opens its roof and begins to make inventories of the sky," she said.

"It's not going to give us millions of asteroid observations, but it will dwarf the current figure of 18,000 dwarfs."


Humanity has previously performed successful missions involving probes met with distant asteroids in space, including NASA's space probe Dawn, orbiting the vast space rock Vesta. In 2005, the Japanese Hayabusa probe even picked some parts of the asteroid Itokawa and sent them back to Earth for analysis.

But it is the "gravitational tractor" that many researchers, including those associated with the B612 Foundation, may be the best at distracting dangerous asteroids on a trajectory to Earth.

As long as there is a significant warning period, the robotic probe could be sent into space to meet and fly with the asteroid.

The modest gravity of the spacecraft would pull on the asteroid as the two pull together across the room. Over months or years, this "gravity tractor" method would take the asteroid into a different, more favorable orbit.

"With advanced warning, you only have to move an asteroid a quarter inch to throw it into another orbit," Ms. Remy said.

"The problem is the gravity tractor has not been tested."

"Everyone believes that physics will work. What the organization has done over the years is the lawyer that the world needs to understand in the interest of humanity, how to distract asteroids.

"But more resources are needed to get it on stage."

Ms. Remy, "whether catastrophic asteroids will strike the earth in the future is in our power."

"Their orbits allow us to predict impending effects to off course asteroids or to divert them from the course," she said

"The important thing is that we need a comprehensive map showing the location, the properties and shows the routes to all these asteroids so we can defend ourselves.

"Asteroids do not care where they land. It could be Australia, Japan or Columbus Ohio.

"It's really a global problem."

The new NASA rocket to find new planets has risen.

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