Spacecraft to save earth from a catastrophic asteroid collision

According to old science research, one of the main factor that brought the mass extinction on earth including the end to the age of dinosaurs is the invasion of asteroids and comets. But a new research last July from New University of Washington said it's not the main reason. But still the possibility is there.

Asteroids are also become famous in Hollywood box office film lately. According to astronomers, there are couples of asteroids will cross the earth's orbit, including Apophis in 2029. Apophis asteroid could have a bigger impact than an asteroid that hit Siberia in 1908. The force of the impact was about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Maybe this encourage British space scientists to design a real-life spacecraft to save the world from destruction.

This new invention called a 'gravity tractor', would be deployed when an orbiting rock is detected on a collision course with Earth.

The spacecraft would intercept the asteroid and position itself to fly alongside it, just 160ft from its surface. From this position, the 10 tonne craft is able to exert a small gravitational force on the rock, pulling the asteroid towards it. By gradually modifying its course, over several years, the gravity tractor is able to slowly shift the asteroid's trajectory enough to ensure it misses the Earth.

Nasa, the US space agency, is so concerned that it has established an expensive monitoring programme to track every object in the sky that might come close to the planet. It estimates there are more than 100,000 asteroids orbiting near the Earth that are large enough to destroy a city. So far the agency has only been able to identify and track 6,363 of them.

"Anything bigger than 30m (32 yards) across is a real threat to the Earth," said Dr Ralph Cordey, science and exploration business development manager at Astrium.

Whatever, we're just can attempt to save the Earth. But if God wants the Earth comes to its end, nobody can stop it .......

More reading at , 29 August 2009

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