NASA chief warns that a major asteroid could hit Earth in our lives and call for a worldwide study of their threat to our planet.
- Bridenstine talked about planetary defense at a conference in Washington, D.C.
- He said potentially catastrophic asteroids could collide with Earth in our lives
- As NASA, it performs a defensive drill simulating asteroid collisions
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine believes the prospect of an asteroid killer colliding with Earth is not something dedicated to science fiction films.
Bridenstine suggested why the US should strengthen its defense against meteorological events on Monday at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in Washington, D.C.
It comes as NASA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other parties will lead a defensive exercise at the conference that simulates what it would be like if an asteroid were heading for Earth.
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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine subscribes to why the US should strengthen its defense against meteorological events at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in Washington, D.C.
"We have to make sure people understand it's not about Hollywood, it's not about movies," he said at the Bridenstine conference.
"This is the ultimate protection of the only planet we know is the host of life, and that is the planet Earth."
He pointed to Chelyabinsk's event as evidence of the increasing severity and potential of these events.
The Meteor, which sprawled across the southern Ural Mountains in February 2013, was the largest recorded meteor strike in more than a century, after the Tunguska event of 1908.
More than 1,600 people were injured by a blast shock, estimated at 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs.
While these types of events are estimated once every 60 years, Bridenstine said they have been three times in the last 100 years.
Bridenstin's comments come as NASA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other parties will lead a defensive exercise at the conference that simulates what it would be like if the asteroid were heading for Earth.
In this way of thinking, this means that in our lives another event may occur at the Chelyabinsk event.
"I wish I could tell you that these events are extremely unique," Bridenstine said. "But they are not."
Bridenstine said that planetary defense is as important as other NASA targets, such as landing people on the moon.
He added that NASA is working to detect and track 90 percent of nearby asteroids that are 459 feet or larger, which can cause potentially fatal damage on impact.
As part of NASA's efforts to defend the Earth against asteroids, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission is due to be canceled in June 2021 and includes the help of SpaceX by Elon Musk.
The groundbreaking mission will be the first to demonstrate an attempt to divert the asteroid by deliberately striking an object at high speed.
Starting from California's Vandenberg Air Force base on Falcon 9 in 2021, DART Craft is expected to reach the Didymos goal in October 2022 when it is 6.8 million miles from Earth.
The DART mission relies on what is known as the "kinetic impactor" – in this case an eight-foot (2.4 m) solar-powered vessel.
The DART will focus on the binary approaching asteroid Earth, Didymos, which measures about 2,600 feet (800 m) across.
WHAT CAN WE STOP ASTEROID COLLIDERS WITH EARTH?
Currently, Nasa could not avert an asteroid if it was headed to Earth, but could mitigate the impact and take measures to protect lives and property.
This would include the evacuation of the impact area and the moving core infrastructure.
Finding track path, size, shape, weight, composition, and rotation dynamics would help experts determine the severity of potential impact.
However, the key to mitigating harm is to find a possible threat as soon as possible.
Nasa is currently moving forward with a space-sized spacecraft capable of preventing asteroids colliding with Earth. A test with a small, non-treating asteroid is planned for 2024.
This is the very first mission to show the asteroid deflection technique for planetary defense.
A double asteroid redirection test (DART) would use what is known as a kinetic impact technique to hit an asteroid to move its orbit.
The impact would change the impending asteroid's speed by a small fraction of its total speed, but by doing so well ahead of the anticipated impact, this small twitch will eventually increase to a large asteroid path shift from Earth.