A decade ago, Earth was hit by the Chelyabinsk asteroid over Russia’s Ural region. The asteroid exploded over the city and created a shock wave that affected 1,500 people and destroyed more than 7,300 buildings. It served to create fear, but more than that, it sent all space agencies back to the drawing board to prepare contingency plans for such an event that could have much worse consequences. There is always the fear of an asteroid impact, since millions of years ago it exterminated the dinosaurs from the face of the Earth. Therefore, to study these possible asteroids colliding with the Earth and the impact they may have, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space created two international organizations: the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG). . These organizations will study in depth the risk of an asteroid impact and the global response. Learn more about these organizations here.
How to Study the Impact and Impact of an Asteroid
The IAWN and SMPAG will complete 10 years of research in 2024. According to an ESA report report, IAWN is run by NASA, which specializes in observing and finding dangerous asteroids hurtling into space. IAWN then assesses the timing, location, and potential impact of asteroids approaching Earth. The collected information is then circulated to SMPAG and national governments “about the asteroid needed to plan a reactive space mission and to civilian disaster preparedness and response agencies,” ESA said.
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ESA leads SMPAG, which brings together space agencies globally to coordinate Earth’s space response to threats. In addition, it analyzes how space missions can study, deflect or destroy 50-meter-wide asteroids. Now, the biggest debate among these organizations is about the asteroid “Apophis”, which is said to be 350 meters wide and could pass close to Earth on April 13, 2029. However, the asteroid does not pose any threat, but an opportunity for organizations to study a “Large asteroid up close with a satellite mission”
ESA will launch the Hera mission in October 2024 to learn more about NASA’s DART mission’s successful demonstration of a kinetic impactor technique for deflecting asteroids. However, this can only be done once the asteroid is detected and the Minor Planet Center keeps a close eye on near-Earth objects.
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