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Asteroid Hunters
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Summary
Lurking out in the darkness of space are millions of threatening asteroids and comets that could be on a collision course with our planet and could someday threaten the life on earth. A 10 mile asteroid would lead to mass extinction. Smaller asteroids that are as big as a football field could easily wipe out a city. Around 6000 near earth asteroids were detected by NASA’s Space Survey and an asteroid called Apophis would come dangerously close to the earth on Friday April 13th, 2029. It is predicted that it would miss the earth with a narrow margin. But it would probably collide with the earth when it returns after 7 years. David Morrison a senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California says that this space survey was continuously being carried out by NASA for the past ten years. Rusty Schweickart, an Apollo 9 astronaut is one of the leading experts in the area of asteroid deflection. Most asteroids orbit the sun between the vast asteroid belt lying between mars and the sun. But some of them find their way into the interiors of the solar system. These are the potential killer asteroids that NASA is on the look out for. Schweickart co-founded the B-612 organization in 2002 with a goal to help develop a way to deflect an asteroid’s path by 2015.
Keywords: NASA Ames, Rusty Schweickart, David Morrison, Asteroid Deflection, B-612 Foundation, SAR, RCS, ESA, ISRO, Yarkovsky effect, Ion Thruster, Nuclear Pulse Propulsion, Gravitational Tractor, Armageddon, Asteroid Belt
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