Can Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos destroy Earth bound asteroids using their space fleet?

    With the threat of asteroid strikes to Earth always looming, can private players like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos led SpaceX and Blue Origin respectively, make a difference with their innovative solutions?
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 13:52 IST
    Asteroid
    How can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos protect the Earth from future asteroid strikes? Find out. (NASA)
    Asteroid
    How can Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos protect the Earth from future asteroid strikes? Find out. (NASA)

    At present, the space frontier is being watched over by NASA and other government operated space agencies across the world. But even as the most technologically advanced instruments and observatories are scanning the solar system for dangerous asteroids, they are limited by both their numbers as well as funds. At the end of the day, space agencies conduct multiple missions simultaneously exploring various space. For example, right now, NASA has missions either underway or planned for the far side of the Moon, Mars, asteroids, Europa and more. With space agencies already constrained by scarcity of funds, how can surveillance over incoming asteroids be increased to ensure an asteroid strike like Chelyabinsk does not happen again? Some researchers believe that private players like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos led SpaceX and Blue Origin can be the solution we have been looking for.

    According to a new research paper titled ‘Internet of Spacecraft for Multi-Planetary Defense and Prosperity', solar system-wide space fleet might be the best course of action to significantly increase surveillance of incoming asteroids and reduce the chances of a strike. And private enterprises are going to play a major role in it.

    Private players to give a boost to Earth's asteroid surveillance system

    The paper's assertions are not without any basis. Today, Blue Origin takes passengers on a trip to space on a regular basis using reusable rockets. On the other hand the Falcon 9 rockets of SpaceX have delivered multiple payloads of mini satellites. What Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have achieved in such a short amount of time since entering the space race is remarkable. And this has also inspired other entrepreneurs to enter the space tech arena.

    So, in the near future, if enough private entities enter the field, it is not difficult to assume that spacecraft travel to the Moon or even Mars might be completely possible. And once that happens, and humans have created bases on nearby planets and the Moon, this would be the right time to begin phase two of asteroid surveillance, as per the paper. The paper suggests leaving satellites in different orbits across the solar system in large numbers to create an unparalleled survey station. And this station will not only be capable of finding out about asteroids that can be a threat to the Earth but also can deviate its path to alleviate any risks.

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    First Published Date: 14 Jul, 15:55 IST
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