Steps being taken by ESA and NASA to evolve an “Earth Defense System”
NASA has been planning a project along with ESA, that it calls the “Double Asteroid Redirect Test” (DART) to test whether it is possible to deflect the course of an incoming asteroid by shooting a nuclear projectile at it on its way itself so that it did not hit the Earth.
For this test-run, they have chosen an asteroid known as “Didymos” and a much smaller rock orbiting it called “Didymoon” situated about 11.2 million kilometres away from us in the Asteroid Belt.
“Didymos” has been chosen for this purpose because it happens to be a binary (having a moon) asteroid measuring about 17 kilometres, in diameter, it is large enough to wreak havoc across a wide swath of Earth if it knocked down on the Earth.
ESA has stationed a probe named “Hera” around “Didymos” and “Didymoon” and NASA plans to launch a spacecraft to circle the asteroid between 2020 and 2021 so as to dash a projectile against “Didymoon” in October 2022.
Once that’s done, a year later – the ESA probe will be commissioned to determine how successful the course-correction may have been.
Though they have no idea what other technique could be possibly employed if this trial fails but they plan to use this technique even for larger asteroids if it succeeds.
But, just imagine – how lucky we are that some asteroid should have hit the Earth in a manner that the Earth should have started rotating around its axis since we would not have had “days and nights” on the Earth if it would not have been spinning around its axis.
Not only days and nights, but we also would not have had so many seasons, either.
Can you imagine – what sort of life we would have led if we would not have had “days and nights” or would not have had “summer and winter”, on the Earth?
If that asteroid would not have hit the Earth, it would not have been rotating around its axis nor we would have had any “days or nights” or so many seasons, as pleasantries.
Thank God – there were no NASA people anywhere around, to have thought of deflecting even the asteroid that should have sent the Earth into a spin by smacking it.
But the point is – though we may be able to save our planet by deflecting the asteroids shall we be able to avert the chances of the obliquity of the axis of rotation of the Earth, getting escalated or de-escalated?
Most of the cities situated along the borderlines of the oceans may get dunked into the sea if the obliquity of Earth’s axis may increase or decrease even by two or three degrees, over a course of time.
I don’t think we should be able to tide over any such eventuality, howsoever best we may try.