BEWARE! NASA on alert as huge asteroid set to fly past Earth soon | Tech News

BEWARE! NASA on alert as huge asteroid set to fly past Earth soon

NASA has been put on alert as it expects a huge asteroid to make a close approach with Earth on October 2. Here’s what the space agency said.

| Updated on: Sep 30 2022, 12:34 IST
This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
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Asteroid which will fly close to Earth soon? Know what NASA said. (Pixabay)

What if an asteroid is headed for Earth? What would happen if any of the stray asteroids in the solar system hit Earth? Could we save ourselves from total annihilation? If such questions have crossed your mind, then your questions could get answered soon, thanks to NASA's DART Mission which took place on September 26. Although the collision was successful, it is yet to be confirmed if the asteroid was actually deflected. For this, NASA and other space organizations will study the data around the impact site with the help of European Space Agency's Hera spacecraft. In the meantime, NASA has warned that a huge asteroid is headed for Earth.

Asteroid 2018 ER1

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies for any potential impact. It red-flags Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within 7.5 to 8 million kilometers of Earth. Asteroid 2018 ER1 has also been red-flagged by the organization.

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Asterid 2018 ER1 is set for close approach with Earth on October 2 at a distance of 5.6 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, speeding at nearly 14400 kilometers per hour. This asteroid will make another trip to Earth soon as its next closest approach will be October 8, 2023. Asteroid 2018 ER1 ranges between 65 feet and 148 feet in size.

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ESA's involvement in the DART Mission

European Space Agency's Hera spacecraft will observe the impact caused by the collision of DART spacecraft and Dimorphos asteroid. ESA has already launched its Hera spacecraft which will travel to the same asteroid to observe the impact.

The Hera spacecraft will fly to the asteroid to survey the aftermath of impact and gather information such as the size of impact crater, the mass of the asteroid and its make-up and internal structure using its CubeSAT satellite to conduct a radar probe of the asteroid after the collision.

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First Published Date: 30 Sep, 11:59 IST