December 30, 2009

Russia plans to save the Earth from an asteroid that actually wont hit the Earth

Russia comes to the rescue! Kind of...

MOSCOW – Russia's space chief said Wednesday his agency will consider sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent a possible collision with Earth.

Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.

When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated the chances of it smashing into Earth in its first flyby in 2029 were as high as 1-in-37.

There is almost no chance that this Asteroid will hit Earth now, or when it returns back into the area 20 years from now. Or 20 years after that.

However, Russia is going to send a space craft up there. One thing that concerns me though if that if you throw the asteroid off course now, the trajectory might change to the point where in the return trip 20-40-60 years from now might have it bearing down directly on the planet.

Now I'm sure they've crunched all the numbers... but really, if it isn't broke, why are you messing with it?

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