More than six years have passed since an asteroid exploded over Russia, leading to more than 1,000 injured people and significant damages to the buildings which were in the vicinity of the explosion. The Chelyabinsk event proved that even small asteroids could be destructive.
It can be said that asteroids are a link between our planet and space. Their encounter with our planet led to significant events, including the extinction of the dinosaurs or the massive Barringer crater which can be found in Arizona.
Asteroids are quite dangerous
In recent years, space agencies from all over the world have started to become interested in the moon and Mars. There is nothing wrong with that, but it would be great if some missions would aim to gather more data about asteroids. Read below to learn why.
As mentioned at the start of the article, even minor asteroids have the potential to be dangerous. It is thought that more asteroids could impact Earth in the future, as there are six known asteroids which follow a suggestive trajectory. An impact in a remote area wouldn’t be so dangerous, but that situation would be completely different in the case of a large city.
Water deposits and valuable minerals
Some astronomers argue that asteroids brought the first traces of water to Earth. NASA explored Ceres, one of the largest asteroids, with the help of a probe. The survey revealed that water was present on its surface, and the asteroid was classified as a former ocean world. Asteroids could also carry valuable minerals, and Chinese researchers are already working on methods which may allow them to harvest the resources and bring them back to Earth.
We could learn more about the solar system from studying asteroids
Since asteroids do not have an atmosphere, their surface will remain unchanged throughout millennia. By surveying them, we could learn about the origins and evolution of our solar system.