How to stop asteroids striking Earth; what NASA said

Asteroids are feared for their destructive potential. Even small ones can destroy whole cities on Earth. And there are so many of them, especially small ones and so many new ones are being found. (NASA)

So, what is the path open to humanity to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs at worst and annihilation of big highly populated regions? (PIxabay)

According to NASA, successful mitigation requires that a threatening asteroid must be discovered and physically characterized at the earliest. The sooner this happens the better the appropriate response will be. (NASA)

NASA is operating the Near-Earth Object Observations program specifically for this purpose. However, unfortunately, it is a massive job as the number of near-Earth asteroids increases even as their sizes decrease. (NASA)

In fact, NASA says, "We are most likely to be hit by the relatively small objects that are most difficult to find ahead of time." (Pixabay)

If an asteroid is found to be heading for a collision course with the Earth and there is very little time, then locating the impact area ahead of time is crucial. (Pixabay)

This would make it possible for an evacuation of those regions on Earth that would be affected by the imminent collision of a small, recently-discovered asteroid. (Pixabay)

However, if the object could be found far enough ahead of time, then Earth would stand a chance of taking counter-measures. Space technology could be then used to deflect it away from the Earth. (Pixabay)

That is what the DART mission by NASA was all about. NASA targeted an asteroid and crashed a spacecraft into it millions of miles from Earth. The test was a success as the asteroid, named Dimorphos, moved from its original orbit to a newer one. (Pixabay)

If the same is done to an asteroid heading for Earth, the chances of success would be great, courtesy this mission. (Flickr)

However, this is not the only option. Among others are nuclear explosions and use of the so-called "gravity tractors" or "micro-thrusting" spacecraft.

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