NASA will be unable to defend our planet against a doomsday asteroid that could smash into Earth in 2135, a chilling study has revealed.
Researchers found that it might be impossible to stop the space rock – which is the size of the Empire State building – from careering into Earth next century.
Scientists revealed that even their most advanced technology would prove ‘inadequate’ for deflecting such a space rock, which has been dubbed Bennu.
The consequences would be ‘dire’ experts have warned, and the asteroid has sparked fears that it could even wipe out life for good.
Scientists are investigating the possibility of using a specially designed spacecraft to nuke approaching cosmic objects, in hopes that doing so could deflect the threat.
While it could be possible to divert a near-Earth object (NEO) by slamming into it with a so-called impactor, experts say a nuclear explosion may be the best bet when time is running out.
In a new paper, scientists from NASA and the National Nuclear Security Administration have laid out a plan for the Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response (HAMMER).
The 8.8-ton HAMMER spacecraft could be used to steer itself directly into a small asteroid, or blow the space rock up using a nuclear device, according to BuzzFeed News.
The team has devised a proposal around a potential impact with the 1,600-foot-wide asteroid Bennu, which is currently the destination for NASA’s Osiris-Rex sample return mission.
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Source: Daily Mail