With all the warnings given by NASA and ESA about asteroids that came too close to Earth, we must face the harsh truth: we do not have the technology to defend our planet against an asteroid impact, or at least that’s what Elon Musk said.
Just yesterday Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, responded to a tweet that announced the fact that NASA is preparing for an asteroid nicknamed ‘God of Chaos,’ to arrive in the next decade. Elon Musk was not that concerned about the ‘God of Chaos,’ but he is troubled about that someday an asteroid will collide with Earth and we do not have anything to stop it from creating a disaster.
Perfectly nicknamed ‘the God of Chaos,’ Asteroid 99942 Apophis is a massive space rock that is anticipated to come quite near Earth in April 2029. The rock is expected to cross near Earth at about 19,000 miles above the planet’s surface. The asteroid has 370 meters (1,210 feet) in diameter and was classified as a NEO (near-Earth object).
Elon Musk thinks we have no defense against a potential asteroid impact, but NASA and ESA plan to change that
Ever since its discovery 15 years ago, in June 2004, Apophis made astronomers anxious as they calculated that it had a 2.7% chance of hitting Earth in 2029. After much research, astronomers were able to improve their predictions and announced that there was no possibility of the asteroid to hit Earth or the Moon in 2029.
The distance that the asteroid is supposed to pass Earth is ten times the distance between Earth and the Moon. Because of threats like this, NASA and SpaceX are collaborating on a future mission to deflect asteroids that endanger our planet. The name of the mission is the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test).
The space object that the two agencies are targeting is Didymoon, a tiny space rock that orbits Didymos, a much more massive asteroid. The mission is scheduled for June 2021 and will be launched with the help of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The scientists hope to find a way to boost planetary defense against a future, potential asteroid impact.