This color image of Eros was acquired by NEAR’s multispectral
imager on February 12, 2000, at a range of 1100 miles (1800
kilometers). It is part of the final approach imaging sequence
prior to orbit insertion and is intended to map the color
properties of Eros across all of the illuminated surface.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL


Can Slamming a Spaceship into an Asteroid Save Earth?

Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer
Date: 07 December 2012 Time: 12:21 PM ET

It sounds like the plot of a bad Bruce Willis movie, but some experts are saying it should be a reality.

In order to prepare for massive asteroids that could aim for Earth in the future, researchers should ram a spaceship into a real asteroid to see if the space rock would shift course, scientists say.

The proposal, which was presented Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, would send two spaceships to deflect a small asteroid in a binary (double asteroid) system coming toward Earth in 2022. One spaceship would crash into the asteroid, hopefully deflecting it, while another would observe the collision.

Read more: Can Slamming a Spaceship into an Asteroid Save Earth? | Asteroid Deflection Plan | Space.

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