This is a short clip of scenes which depict scenarios of the happenings that might take place on April 13, 2036. The asteroid will come very close to the Earth in 2029, but miss. That close encounter will trigger a collision in 2036
Asteroid Apophis is a possible Earth bound asteroid. Known as 99942 Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid that had caused concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029. Recent news indicate that it could be on a collision course afterall.
Apophis will come within 18,000 miles from earth on Friday, April 13th, 2036. That amount of miles is actually very, very close and it will be visible to the naked eye. You thought Halley’s comet was the talk of the world in the 1980’s…just wait until this Asteroid Apophis comes knocking on our door.
Asteroid Apophis is 1,000 feet in diameter, which is about 90 stories tall and weighs 25 million tons. If this asteroid hits anywhere on earth it would be 68,000 times the force that the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
NASA labeled Apophis as a Near Earth Object. Lets just hope it stays in that label and not become an impact asteroid.
The European Space Agency will test its technique against a real asteroid in 2015 in a mission called Don Quijote. Don Quijote involves two spacecrafts. One, called Hidalgo, will impact the asteroid at a speed of six miles per second while the other (Sancho) will orbit the asteroid before and after collision collecting data and analyzing just how far off course the impactor spacecraft threw the asteroid.
Watch the European Space Agency’s simulation here:
Similarly, the Chinese researchers propose hitting the asteroid with a spacecraft, but the method of getting there is a bit different. They propose using a solar sail (a form of spacecraft propulsion) to send the spacecraft into retrograde orbit and on a collision course with the asteroid.
Shengping Gong and pals at Tsinghua University in Beijing say they've come up with a plan that will ensure Apophis never returns to Earth on this timescale .
They point out that keyholes are tiny, in this case just 600 metres wide. So deflecting Apophis by only a small amount in the near future will ensure it misses the keyhole and so cannot return to Earth.
There are various ways to deflect an asteroid. Gong and pals say their preference is to use a solar sail to place a small spacecraft into a retrograde orbit and on collision course with Apophis. The retrograde orbit will give it an impact velocity of 90km/s which, if they do this well enough in advance, should lead to a collision large enough to do the trick.
Putting a spacecraft into a retrograde orbit about the Sun using little or no fuel is a pretty neat trick by anyone's standards.. The Chinese team's calculations demonstrate the point. They show that a 10 kg sail in retrograde orbit, that hits Apophis a year before 2029, would deflect it enough to miss the keyhole, thereby eliminating the chance that the asteroid will return in 2036.
Rescue plan: The European Space Agency is planning mission Don Quijote - to blow up a huge asteroid that could potentially be hurtling towards Earth
In the Hollywood movie Armageddon, Bruce Willis attempts to blow up a huge asteroid hurtling towards Earth. In real life, the mission, called Don Quixote, will see two spacecraft launched.
One will be fired at an asteroid at break-neck speed in an attempt to push it off its course. The other will analyse data with the aim of informing future missions in which the future of mankind may be at stake.