Can humans stop an asteroid apocalypse on Earth? NASA, SpaceX to the rescue? | Tech News

Can humans stop an asteroid apocalypse on Earth? NASA, SpaceX to the rescue?

Can asteroids be prevented from destroying Earth and wiping out humanity? Can NASA, SpaceX stop stop it?

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| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 00:01 IST
An asteroid can crash into the Earth wiping out humanity. Can this be avoided?
An asteroid can crash into the Earth wiping out humanity. Can this be avoided? (Reuters)
An asteroid can crash into the Earth wiping out humanity. Can this be avoided?
An asteroid can crash into the Earth wiping out humanity. Can this be avoided? (Reuters)

Several asteroids have reportedly passed close to earth in the past few months. Considering the long Earth history that is replete with tales of such asteroid crashes, there is always a fear that this may happen again. An asteroid crash wiped out dinosaurs, the same can happen to humans too. So, there has always been a fear of massive asteroids colliding with Earth with fatal consequences to humans. When this happened millions of years ago, dinosaurs were completely wiped out. Now it is being speculated that a massive asteroid can crash into Earth again. This has especially happened after the recent Hollywood movie, 'Don't Look Up'. While researchers at NASA, and other space agencies, have been trying to derive a method that could protect Earth from an asteroid crash, a new study has revealed a novel idea to destroy incoming asteroids.

In a recent study, scientists at the University of California found how mankind may avoid extinction at the hands of an asteroid. The researchers have conducted their study on hypothetical protagonists just six month's notice before an impact by a 10km comet like the Netflix flick ‘Don't Look Up.'

Philip Lubin, Alexander N. Cohen wrote that they have conducted their work on bolide fragmentation by using an array of penetrators modified with small nuclear explosive devices (NED) in the penetrators. The article was titled 'Don't Forget to Look Up'. They added that the NED combined with heavy lift launch assets with positive C3 such as NASA SLS (Space Launch System) or SpaceX Starship (with in-orbit refueling) is sufficient to diminish this existential threat. They said, “We show that humanity has crossed a technological threshold to prevent us from going the way of the dinosaurs.”

The researchers have tried to find out whether humanity could prevent what happened to the dinosaurs 65million years ago. In the paper, published last week on the Arxiv database, Prof. Lubin and his colleague have analyzed the impact of a 10km asteroid that could wipe out almost all life on our planet, causing the temperature of our atmosphere to rocket to 300C. However, it was confirmed that mitigation pf asteroid threat is conceivable using existing technology, even with the short time scale of 6 months warning with the efficient combination of NED energy.

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First Published Date: 11 Feb, 10:46 IST
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