A plan was introduced by the National Space Science Centre that showcases China's plans to divert a planet killer asteroid in 2031 that will zoom too close to the earth. This will be only one of many plans to divert possible cataclysmic impacts from near-earth objects (NEOS).
Dangers from possible impacts from space have prompted advanced countries to devise similar plans. Beijing is serious about this plan and will utilize its resources to achieve this technical feat.
By hurling many rockets that weigh 900-tons each, the planets hope the impact will nudge the asteroid Bennu off-course from a possible near-earth impact.
Diverting not destroying is the game
The orbit of Bennu which is 1,614 feet are projected to be in the range of 7.5 million kilometers of the earth by 2175-2199. For now, the space rock is harmless, but it will be brought close enough for a 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting, reported the Daily Mail.
Simulations were done by the Chinese that suggest the combined impact of 23 Long March 5 booster rockets, each about 900 tons can redirect the asteroid by 5,592 miles from its normal course.
It is about 1.4 times the radius of the earth that is a big deal for everyone because it will be an asteroid passing harmless or seeing an impact like the ones which caused devastation and death.
Why do it?
According to a space engineer, Mingtao Li, National Space Science Center, these NEOS or asteroid is a danger and can wipe out life on earth. China's plans to divert the asteroid in 2031 is the best way to stop a doomsday scenario by deflecting it on an impact trajectory to nullify the threat, cited Science direct.
But to knock Bennu from a straight shot to earth's surface, it will take the most impressive amount of kinetic impact to achieve it.
Dangers of using the most powerful nukes on earth is an option, but it could make earth's predicament worse. Powerful explosions will break up one asteroid into many chunks, increasing the chance of more hitting the planet. Instead, Dr. Li said that using non-nukes is a possibility in the next decade.
One option is a deflector vehicle called an 'Assembled Kinetic Impactor that will be connected to the main rocket not separate to hit Bennu harder. The extra force will be multiplied by 23 rocket boosters in all.
Engineer says the Long March 5 will need few changes to make it work, like thrusters to adjust its flight path to guide the rocket till the final impact to change the direction of the target. It is the same rocket that malfunction in May this year.
Good thing the rocket fell harmlessly in the Indian Ocean but broke up in pieces during reentry.
This is the US version of avoiding disaster, the 'Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response' is a study to see if spacecrafts can be a kinetic or nuclear impactor to stop an asteroid, noted Space.
NASA did the math and thinks that 34-53 HAMMER strikes, which will be launched a decade before Bennu gets close to the earth.
As China plans to divert a planet killer asteroid in 2031, their dreams of controlling space are tantamount. While around earth's orbit the dangers of space might need more than one nation to stop it.