A Last-Minute Nuke to Shatter an Incoming Asteroid Could Actually Work, Study Suggests
Encouraging results from a computer simulation point to the use of nuclear devices as a viable defence against Earth-threatening asteroids that suddenly appear out of the blue.
The Centre for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory runs an asteroid impact simulation once every two years. The exercise from earlier this year was unique in that the fictional threatening asteroid, dubbed “2021 PDC,” was detected just six months before its scheduled meeting with Earth’s surface. It was deemed an insufficient amount of time to deploy a mitigation strategy, so the participants focused primarily on disaster response. It served as a rude reminder of our vulnerability to these undiscovered asteroids.
Ideally, we’d have a few years or even decades to mount a response, such as using the gravitational influence …
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