According to official data, the chances of a collision between Earth and another object in the following century are quite small, but this does not mean that we shouldn’t do anything.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has recently stated that the agency will work on and contribute to solutions which aim to prevent any potential issues in the future. He added that the miraculous solutions found in most Hollywood films which present the scenario of an apocalyptic encounter aren’t useable in reality. The Chelyabinsk goal is to keep Earth safe in the long run.
In 2013 the Chelyabinsk event showed that even small meteors are able to cause traveled amounts of damage in just a few minutes. The Chelyabinsk, meteor entered the atmosphere over Russia, February 2013. At 20 meters (or 66 feet) it didn’t seem to be a can threat but that was not the case. As it, at an impressive speed of up to 69,000 kilometers per hour (or 42,900 miles per hour) it became a superbolide, emitting a powerful light which attracted the attention of thousands of people.
The powerful gravitational forces and impressive speed forced the meteor to explode, releasing a powerful flash of light, a giant cloud of gas and variety of small fragments which crashed into the surrounding area. While most of the shockwave was absorbed by the atmosphere the sheer power of the blast shattered the windows of more than 7,000 buildings and 1,500 people, as they panicked in the aftermath of the explosion.
To avoid such events in the future NASA and other space agencies are exploring methods which could eliminate potential threats before they manage to hit the Earth. At this point, NASA and DARPA plan to use on the rocket-powered impactor, which could deviate asteroids which follow a dangerous course. Several tests are underway, and the project appears to be quite promising.
Chris Mcfadden is the lead editor for Swerd Media. Chris has written for several online publications including the Huffington Post, Vanity Fair and Bleacher Report. Chris is based in Los Angeles and covers issues affecting California. When he’s not busy writing, Chris enjoys traveling and hiking.