Monday, 22 August 2011

Earth's last chance is in hand of China

Earth’s last chance
99942 Apophis is a well known name to astronomers and scientists. If you are not then know that this is a word that made scientists a little bit worried around 2004. This is an asteroid which has a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029.
Additional observation predicted that this asteroid is not going to smash with our planet or our dear moon. But it will cross through a gravitational keyhole which can cause this rock to divert from its original path and force it to crash into our planet.

But, a recent research in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, reveals a project call Kamikaze (from Kami - "god" and kaze - "wind”) .It is a   satellite that will smash a soler sail into Apophasis and divert its path away from the gravitational keyhole.

By analysing the trajectory, speed and impact of a spacecraft, Gong says, “The results show that a 10 kg solar sail with a lead-time of one year can move Apophis out of a 600-m keyhole area in 2029.” The craft would also be sent into a retrograde orbit of the Earth to build up speed, so it will be moving at a super fast 90km/s by the time it collides with the asteroid.

European space agency is also thinking about smashing a rocket into Apophasis.

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