Those of you who saw the film Armageddon will have had the fear instilled in you that an earth-colliding asteroid could very well happen.
It seems like a lot of us have been asking ‘what if’ because NASA have now revealed that they are prepared for such an occurrence!
GULP! They’re preparing for when the asteroid ‘Didymos B’ passes Earth!
That’s right, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration people have got a plan in place and they’re even going to do a dry run to see if it works!
The space agency are currently developing a refrigerator-sized spacecraft that will be able to track asteroids as well as deflect them, setting them on a new path away from Earth, reports Johns Hopkins University.
The dry run isn’t happening for a while though, with reports stating it will be in 2024 when ‘Didymos B’ is set to pass us.
When the non-threatening asteroid passes Earth in 2024, NASA will launch their spacecraft, hoping to knock it off course.
Andy Cheng, who is co-leading the investigation said:
DART is a critical step in demonstrating we can protect our planet from a future asteroid impact.
Since we don’t know that much about their internal structure or composition, we need to perform this experiment on a real asteroid.
With DART, we can show how to protect Earth from an asteroid strike with a kinetic impactor by knocking the hazardous object into a different flight path that would not threaten the planet.
Fingers crossed no colossal asteroids come heading for Earth before 2024 then!