According to the Washington Post, scientists say, though the chance is small, the asteroid could slam into Earth on September 22, 2135, destroying lots of living things on the planet. If the asteroid is fond to be small enough, then the HAMMER spacecraft will smash the asteroid with an 8.8-ton "impactor" but if it turns out to be massive, then the HAMMER will destroy it with nuclear bombs before it reaches earth.
But Asteroid Bennu is creating a chaos among researchers of the possible destruction it could bring to Earth if it collides in 2135 as assumed by NASA with one in 2,700 chance. This push in Bennu's orbit and shape is also an effect of it repeatedly passing close to Venus and Earth, explained NASA. However, experts believe that the "Hammer" spacecraft will not be sufficient enough to move a large asteroid like Bennu off its path. Scientists also believe that the idea of blasting the asteroid with nuclear weapons is not a great choice, as earth could be showered with radioactive fragments.
Brent W. Barbee, the NASA aerospace engineer who helped author the study, insists that it is all theoretical. The odds of Bennu actually hitting us are about 1 in 2,700. "The ultimate goal is to be ready to protect life on Earth".
Space.com explained: "Because Bennu is so dark, it tends to absorb the sun's radiation". For example, if Earth started launching Hammer missions just 10 years before impact, "it was determined that it could take between 34 and 53 launches of the Delta IV Heavy rocket, each carrying a single Hammer impactor, to make a Bennu-class asteroid miss the Earth", the lab reported, adding, a gentle nudge is probably not the best solution for an asteroid as big as Bennu. So far, this working framework has been sheer luck.
Gaddafi's Son Running for Libya's Presidency
The rebel group that captured him in Zintan, southwest of the capital, had refused to hand him to the authorities. While being held in Zintan, he was sentenced to death four years later by a Tripoli court in a trial in absentia.
Astronomers have been tracking asteroid Bennu circling the sun at 63,000 miles per hour since 1999 when the giant asteroid was first spotted.
NASA has a Planetary Defense Coordination Office that tries to detect unsafe asteroids and comets close to Earth's orbit. It can be observed with telescopes and its gravitational impact on other celestial bodies can thus be tracked too.
As of October 2, 2017, NASA reports the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was more than 3 million miles from Earth or about 13 times the distance between our planet and its moon. NASA already has one space probe heading towards Bennu called OSIRIS- REx. It contains instruments that "will map Bennu and establish the composition of the asteroid, including the distribution of the elements, minerals and organic materials".
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