‘Not a hell of a lot we can do’: NASA scientist warns Earth vulnerable to ‘sneaky’ asteroid, comet

Scientist recommended Nasa build an interceptor rocket, with periodic testing, alongside an observer spacecraft to stop catastrophic fireballs from hitting us

Byrt

NASA scientist warns Earth vulnerable to sneaky asteroid cometEarth is essentially defenseless in the face of comets and asteroids that bring little warning, a NASA scientist has warned. The researcher believes building an interceptor rocket and an observer spacecraft could avert such a catastrophe, however.

“The biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” Dr. Joseph Nuth, a researcher with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco on Monday.

According to Nuth, comets have largely been ignored by people “interested in defending the planet.”

Meanwhile, comets have a potential of getting close to Earth, but we may not have the time and resources to repel them.

Nuth recalled in 1996, the Earth had “a close encounter” with a Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet that smashed into Jupiter. The same threat still looms over our planet, less than two decades since. In January 2013, Comet Siding Spring, or C/2013 A1, also had “a close interaction” with Earth.

Then, in October 2014, Comet Siding Spring passed “within cosmic spitting distance of Mars,” threatening NASA spacecraft orbiting planet at the time.

The total time from when Siding Spring was discovered to its closest approach to the Red Planet was less than 22 months. According to Nuth, that is not enough time to take action.

“If you look at the schedule for high-reliability spacecraft and launching them, it takes five years to launch a spacecraft. We had 22 months of total warning,” he said. In other words, rocket scientists need at least five years to design, build and launch a spacecraft to deflect or destroy a comet.

In January 2016, Nasa established its Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), tasking it with detecting potentially hazardous objects (PHOs).

However, Nuth wants to still go further, recommending an interceptor rocket and observer spacecraft be built next. Keeping those in storage would reduce reaction time, which he says is “imperative” to success.

Those steps would cut the five-year schedule in half. Plus, having a rocket in storage, which is ready to be launched within a year “could mitigate the possibility of a sneaky asteroid coming in from a place that’s hard to observe, like from the sun.”

At the same time, Nuth noted that large and potentially dangerous asteroids and comets are extremely rare.

“There are so few large things, in essence. They are the extinction-level events, and that’s especially true for things like comets,” he said.

Larger objects also have less probability to hit Earth, compared to “small things.”

“When we are talking things like dinosaur killers, they’re 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially,” he explained. “You could say, of course, we’re due, but it’s a random guess at that point.”

Sourcert

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Dear Elon Musk: “We’re Already On Mars,” Claims Alleged SSP Whistleblower Corey Goode

If you haven’t already heard, Elon Musk is planning to colonize Mars. Recently announced at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, he...

Bees on Mars: Nasa funds swarm of robotic insects for exploring Red Planet

A swarm of robotic bees, nimble enough to fly across the surface of Mars and explore the Red Planet’s nooks and crannies, is being...

‘Billions’ of stars in Milky Way have planets that could contain liquid water and life

Most stars in the galaxy have planets in the habitable zone, according to new research The Milky Way galaxy may be home to billions of...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Alien Base for Giants Discovered in the Bucegi Mountains

In the summer of 2003, in an unexplored area of the Bucegi Mountains, a team from Zero Department (a top secret section of the...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Dear Elon Musk: “We’re Already On Mars,” Claims Alleged SSP Whistleblower Corey Goode

If you haven’t already heard, Elon Musk is planning to colonize Mars. Recently announced at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, he...

Bees on Mars: Nasa funds swarm of robotic insects for exploring Red Planet

A swarm of robotic bees, nimble enough to fly across the surface of Mars and explore the Red Planet’s nooks and crannies, is being...

Gigantic Elevator Into Space by 2050

Once the realm of science fiction, a Japanese company has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050 If...

‘We are go’: Moon mining firm raises enough money for maiden flight

A Silicon Valley-based company hoping to one day extract the Moon’s natural resources has raised enough money to fund its mission to the space...

Mysterious mermaid stripped naked

Paolo Viscardi reveals what it takes to make a convincing, fake mermaid I am fascinated by mermaids. But my fascination, I should add, is purely...

UN Voices Fears of ‘Catastrophic Nuclear Accident’ as Global Tensions Increase

Increasing global tension and the rise of cyber warfare could lead to nuclear disaster, the United Nations has warned. A comprehensive report by The United...

Soon There Could Be Only 49 States in America

Activists in California have just taken an integral step that could leave America with only 49 states in the near future. Yes California, a pro-secession...

The ‘ Oumuamua Asteroid Likely Came From a Tatooine-Like Star System

Last October, astronomers detected the very first interstellar object, an asteroid dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests this visitor from afar likely came from a...