This week, scientists at NASA's Planetary Protection conference in College Park, Maryland in full swing in good faith doomsday drill. fueled by Raisnettes and what appears to Peanut M & MsRepresentatives of international space agencies gathered for the Planetary Defense Conference NASA exercise to decide what the world should do if an asteroid comes within reach Earth.
NASA has made absolutely clear that the scenario presented in the drill entirely fictional, In the exercise, the researchers decide what to do fictional asteroid called 2019 the PDC that, as of Monday (Day 1), were to hit the Earth in April 2027 Tuesday marks Day 2 of the drill, and researchers used it to start rolling out their plans to protect the Earth.
Tim Spahr, PhD, a participant of the conference and a former director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says returnBoer opportunity for representatives of space agencies to do some creative thinking. Ideas proposed during the exercise may actually inform the actual protection technology asteroid, and some of them already in operation.
"Much of what is proposed in the exercise with the & # 39 is a technology that we think that we can build," says Spahr.
NASA Asteroid Drill: Day 2
On Day 2, the fictional date of July 29, 2019, and things heat up. According to a press release, the participants at the conference said that the 2019 PDC now has a one in ten the probability of collision with the Earth in April 2027.
The asteroid is currently estimated at about 460 to 850 feet, which, most importantly, puts it within about 460 feet of the benchmark of the White House for an asteroid that may cause serious & # 39; serious damage. The PDC in 2019, according to forecasts, will affect about 375 000 lives, but it can affect up to 19 million, according to guidance documents.
Asteroid eight years in this scenario, but some emergency protocols real-world asteroid has fallen into place. In the scenario, the US president made a "Asteroid 2019 PDC Mitigation Task Force", and director of NASA's Planetary Science Laurie Fuel, Ph.D., lead task force has been called.
In accordance with the policies of the Organization & # 39; the United Nations, the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) is now tasked to distribute all known information about the 2019 PDC. This is exactly what happens in real life too, James Bauer, Ph.D., professor and research astronomer at the University of Maryland, said Inverse.
"From the point of view of IAWN, IAWN to organize the company in 2019 to oversee the PDC, and so scientists are in the expectation that the company will in terms of the characteristics of the asteroid."
Characteristic of this asteroid is crucial and will determine how the space agencies to move forward. release now provides that international space agencies should begin to offer a series of reconnaissance missions, who can tell us more about the 2019 PDC properties. This information will help conference participants to take an important decision: How are we going to get rid of it?
Two potential security plans
It turns out that a plan of attack to try to bat the false asteroid away from Earth, using one of two strategies that currently exist. Scientists, however, need more information before they can formally choose one of them for deployment.
Kinetic Impact Engineering. One option to & # 39 is to fly a spacecraft to the asteroid to collide with it and knock it off course. This course of action is called is called "kinetic method of influence" and in fact, the focus of real-life NASA DART spacecraft adds Spahr. (DART, in turn, plans to launch a test case in real life at the end of 2020 or early 2021)
Sleeve Nuclear Detonation. Another way that things can go downstairs to use the space ship laden with nuclear weapons to blow up the asteroid off course. This technique is called "Confrontation" nuclear explosion.
At the end of the 2nd day of the conference participants are faced with a riddle: If they hit the asteroid spacecraft, or blow it up, of course with the bomb? The answer to this question is likely to depend on the results of reconnaissance missions that will explore the asteroid, and then give more accurate information about his weight. According to the guidance document, the mass of a & # 39 is a & # 39 is "a key parameter in any attempt to rejection and may help in deciding which method to use."
It is important to note that they must begin to entertain both options nowIt might take more than a year to build a space ship, two years in order to achieve the PDC in 2019, and, according to the documents, either method will work only when they reach the asteroid in two to three years of its expected date of Earth's influence. "In the coming days will see more activity on this front," says Spahr.
During the week, we will see which version of each space agency chooses to send the PDC 2019 from its impact with the Earth.