Asteroids can hit Earth, and the impact could be catastrophic – and it can happen in just a few years. But if we are prepared, we may be able to avoid it with some special satellites.
For the past few years, astronomers kept talking about the possible danger we’re facing with the asteroids – it could happen in the next years. About 120 years ago, 80 million trees from the Siberian taiga disappeared after the Tunguska event.
But the good news is that we can prevent it from happening again. The UN has initiated SMPAG – the Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group. Here, nations that have launched vehicles into space are working together to come up with the best strategy to avoid a possible impact. And satellites are the best solution. They think that a Kinetic Impactor is a satellite turned ram – meaning it is sent towards the collision course of the asteroid. The energy generated from the satellite will make the asteroid deviate from its course. If the satellite is sent in time, and the entire process takes place far away, we may have a chance.
What about the satellite? How much would it cost to build it?
They are not going to build it. Instead, they will use existing telecom satellites and will give them a new purpose. They weigh enough, and they can be used for this, since they are built on a regular basis. The next thing that they need to do is to add a kinetic deflection module, that has a separate propulsion system, and a special navigation system. This will help in deflecting the asteroid.