The dinosaurs’ reign on Earth was dropped at an finish 66 million years in the past when a 10 mile (16 kilometre) large asteroid got here crashing into the planet. Now consultants have provided no reassurances over the planet’s security if a bigger asteroid have been to collide with Earth. Members of the ESA’s planetary defence staff have been answering questions on Reddit on how Earth is protected against asteroid.
The principle objective of the occasion was to advertise ESA’s Human Exploration Analysis Analog (Hera) mission.
In 2024, Hera will head to the Didymos binary asteroid system – the place two asteroids, one a lot bigger than the opposite, orbit each other – to be taught extra about asteroid safety.
Nonetheless, some asteroids are simply too giant to cease, and when requested if an area rock the scale of Rhode Island, which is about 37 miles (60 kilometres) throughout, was heading to Earth, the staff provided little reassurances.
Detlef Koschny, co-manager of the Planetary Defence Workplace, stated: “That’s quite big – we would need a lot of rocket launches, this would be extremely difficult. I would pray.”
Fortunately, the ESA and NASA know for positive that no main asteroid is heading in the direction of Earth and that we’re protected.
Mr Koschny continued: “The good news is that we are quite convinced that we know all objects larger than just a few kilometers which come close to our planet.
“None of them is on a collision course, so we’re protected.
“There was a scientific study done over a few years (published in Icarus 2018, search for Granvik) where they modelled how many objects there are out there.7
The asteroid hunters also reassured Earthlings that the likes of NASA and ESA are making great strides in their understanding of how to knock an asteroid off a potential collision course with Earth.
Mr Koschny said: “Since we solely change the rate of the asteroid barely, we have to hit the thing early sufficient in order that the thing has time to maneuver away from it’s collision course.
“Finding out when it is possible to launch requires simulations done by our mission analysis team.
“They take the power of the launcher into consideration, additionally the out there gasoline for course corrections, and different issues. Usually every asteroid has its personal greatest situation.”