Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A simulation of an asteroid headed for earth by NASA brings some bad news for us

In a disaster movie, game, or television show, the news of an asteroid heading toward Earth is always shocking. Depending on the circumstances of history, it may take a few days or several months for the planet’s population to prepare for the inevitable. Things always seem to be serious, but humans often manage to pull a rabbit out of their hat and come up with plans to save billions of lives. But this is fictional. Even if we humans have some very compelling technologies, we may not be as lucky as our fictional counterparts. In fact, a recent simulation experiment conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) more or less showed that even if we have six months of preparation time, asteroids heading for Earth will be destroyed.

At the annual Planetary Defense Conference, scientists from multiple space agencies participated in a simulated emergency plan, in which a fictional asteroid named 2021 PDC sailed toward Earth. Scientists determined they had a six-month plan, and as the fictitious days and months passed, the future looked incredibly dull.

With the influx of new information, it is clear that asteroids are developing in a direction that affects Europa. But tracking the asteroid’s path is only part of the mission. The real test is simulating a life-saving response. Participants considered many options, including trying to deflect the asteroid, but it was already too close to Earth for it to take effect. In addition, the scientist determined that “the force required to move the fictional asteroid 2021 PDC away from the collision path with Earth is too high, so there is a danger of destroying the asteroid; it can produce multiple large planets that can affect Earth. Fragments “.

Scientists have also considered using nuclear explosives to destroy or at least severely reduce the chances that any large impactor could penetrate Earth’s atmosphere. Sadly, the group was faced with the reality that “international law prohibits the use of nuclear weapons in space,” meaning that they are almost powerless in such a short time.

The European Space Agency stated in the chronicle of its exercises: “The Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group (SMPAG) has concluded that it is impossible to launch a space mission to the fictional asteroid 2021 PDC to deflect or destroy it in a timely manner. “

The fictional asteroid attacked the Czech Republic near the border with Germany and Austria. The last report before impact reduced the impact site to 23 kilometers and limited the impact time to less than 1 second. The asteroid with a diameter of only about 100 meters caused severe damage in an area up to 300 kilometers in diameter, and the damage intensified as it approached the point of impact.

Of course, this is just a simulation, so it is impossible to say how accurate the world’s reaction will be in the six-month period compared to the days during the conference. If nuclear reactions are supported by scientists and seem likely to work, then it must be imagined that by relaxing international law that prohibits the use of nuclear reactions, humanity will do everything possible to prevent such incidents. At least that’s hope.



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