NASA warns of asteroid heading for close encounter with Earth on August 26

NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QP4 is headed towards Earth with the close encounter happening tomorrow, August 26. Here’s what we know.

| Updated on: Aug 25 2022, 14:50 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 2022 QP4 will miss Earth by just a few million kilometers tomorrow, August 26 according to NASA. (Pixabay)

Yet another asteroid is coming towards Earth It's been a few weeks of frequent asteroid flybys and another one is set to pass Earth closely. NASA has warned that a 40 feet asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QP4 is headed for Earth and will just miss the planet by a few million kilometers. August has been a month full of asteroids buzzing the planet at close quarters.

Asteroid 2022 QP4 to just miss Earth on August 26

NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 QP4 is heading for Earth, but will whizz past the planet at 21:45 UTC time tomorrow, August 26. The asteroid is travelling at a staggering 27,648 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow at a distance of just 1.4 million kilometers. Asteroid 2022 QP4 is nearly as big as a bus at a width of almost 40 feet.

According to, the Asteroid 2022 QP4 takes nearly 1065 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. That is nearly three times the number of days it takes Earth to complete one orbit.

Although this asteroid will not impact with Earth and will pass the planet safely, it has still been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” by NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office due to the close proximity by which it will fly past Earth.

NASA's DART Mission ready for first test

If any asteroid is headed directly for impact with Earth, NASA can now defend the planet to prevent a global catastrophe. NASA's DART Mission, launched in November 2021, is getting ready to impact with its target asteroid Dimorphos on September 26. This test will help scientists gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth.

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First Published Date: 25 Aug, 14:50 IST
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