On June 25, Beijing time, according to foreign media reports, at present, NASA has updated its plan for offsetting dangerous near-Earth asteroids, but plans related content and Bruce · Willis starred in the disaster blockbuster "Doomsday" The plan to save the earth is not the same.
The figure depicts the damage caused by a collision of asteroids about 30 meters in diameter in the New York area. On June 30, 1908, an asteroid exploded in the Soviet Union over Siberia. This is the famous “Tunguska event”. It is the largest asteroid collision in the history of human records.
The picture shows the artist's asteroid colliding with the Earth. At present, NASA has updated its plans for offsetting dangerous near-Earth asteroids. However, these plans are not the same as the personal heroism of the disaster blockbuster “Apocalyptic”. .
This picture shows the total number of near-Earth asteroids discovered on April 8, 2018. Currently, NASA and cooperating agencies have now discovered that more than 95% of asteroids that could potentially trigger global disasters will not pose a threat to the Earth in this century.
On June 20, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Strategy released a research report titled: “The National Near-Earth Object Prevention Strategy and Action Plan.” This 18-page study outlines NASA and the Federal Emergency The measures taken by the Agency (FEMA) in the next decade and how to prevent dangerous asteroids from colliding with the Earth and preparing the country for such emergencies.
At present, NASA, FEMA and White House government officials discussed the latest asteroid mitigation strategy on the conference call. Leviticus Lewis, head of the Federal Response Agency's National Response Coordination Department, told reporters in a conference call: "The collision of the asteroid with the Earth may be one of the best prevention strategies we must take, albeit small. Planetary collisions have a low probability of occurrence of catastrophic events, but it is very necessary to do a certain degree of preparation. ”
NASA Planet Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a conference call that the plan is not only to strengthen the search for dangerous asteroids, but also to better predict their potential for small exposures in the near future. The potential for planetary collision threats and the potential impact of asteroid collisions on the Earth. At the same time, he stressed that this plan will help NASA continue its efforts to verify possible asteroid deflection and other mitigation techniques, and form an internal process and related agreements in the U.S. government to facilitate the promotion of best defense information and timely Make decisions.
NASA said that protecting the Earth from collisions with asteroids is a very difficult task, but people do not expect that astronauts in science fiction movies can complete this work. There were some astronaut heroes in the disaster science fiction movie that collided with the asteroids. Their fearless spirit saved the earth in the story. However, we did not need any technology to involve astronauts in our research. Johnson emphasized that NASA's proposed asteroid deviate technique is entirely accomplished by robotic spacecraft.
Five strategies for preventing asteroid collisions
The research report pointed out that NASA’s latest proposal to avoid asteroids colliding with the Earth’s five strategies, according to the first strategy, NASA is trying to enhance its ability to detect, track and classify near-Earth asteroids, thereby reducing the “current Uncertainties ” and help to more accurately model and propose more effective prevention decisions.
NASA has now invested in the construction of a number of land-based astronomical observatories that can scan near-Earth asteroids, including the Catalina Space Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, and the Maui Pan-Star Astronomical Telescope. . Although the latest research report does not require NASA scientists to begin planning more tasks, it requested NASA to look for opportunities in existing and planned telescope projects to improve detection and tracking by enhancing the current data flow quantity and quality. Planetary capabilities.
The second strategy proposed in the report is to improve the "as modelling, forecasting and information integration capabilities" of U.S. aerospace organizations, so as to help predict the probability of an asteroid colliding with the earth and accurately detect the impact of asteroids on the earth. time and place. Emergency management teams such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency will use this information to determine the best course of action for an asteroid when it collides with the Earth, as well as disaster response measures after the collision.
In the third strategy, NASA proposed a new method for shifting asteroids towards the collision of the earth. This involves designing a new type of technology that rapidly responds to NEO reconnaissance missions. Based on this technology, the United States The NASA will launch a spacecraft that is facing a near-Earth asteroid and will change the orbit of the asteroid in some way so that it will no longer pose a threat to the Earth. Currently, NASA has planned to implement the "Asteroid Redirection Mission (ARM)" in 2021, but the Trump administration cancelled the space program in 2017.
However, "asteroid reorientation mission" is not NASA's only asteroid off mission. Johnson pointed out that NASA's proposed "DART" dual-asteroid redirection test ("DART") is expected to be launched in 2021, which will be the first technical verification that can deviate from the orbit of asteroids. It is expected that the mission will reach out to 2022. Planetary system "Didymos".
The fourth strategy pointed out in the study report is to strengthen international cooperation under the leadership of the United States so as to better respond to possible asteroid collisions. Aaron Miles, senior policy advisor to the White House Office of Science and Technology Strategy, said: "This kind of cooperation is really very important. This is a global crisis that we face together and we must solve this problem." The best way is to establish international cooperation. ”
Johnson said: "To help the rest of the world prepare for asteroid collision prevention, NASA's Office for Prevention of Planetary Coordination and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space have established cooperative relations and are concerned about the international community's response to the threat of near-Earth asteroids. "The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has established an international asteroid prevention network. Asteroids from all over the world track the astronomers and observers to form a research group that will help promote the observation of near-Earth asteroids." Share important data information in a timely manner.
The fifth strategy is for the United States government to propose an asteroid collision response plan. If a large asteroid is found to fly toward the Earth, or if there is no warning, an asteroid has hit the surface of the Earth. In 2010, NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency jointly developed an emergency response plan for asteroid collisions. This latest research report calls for NASA to strengthen near-Earth asteroid collision emergency procedures and action agreements.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's job is to inform all residents who may be affected in an asteroid collision event that it is best to use the same emergency warning system to inform the public about climate emergencies before the asteroid collides with the Earth. This is like responding to any other natural disaster in the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide emergency assistance and life assistance.
Potentially dangerous asteroid
Astronomers looking for asteroids have now discovered more than 8,000 large NEOs, which are at least 140 meters in diameter. If asteroids of this size collide within the United States and are enough to destroy the entire country, this level of celestial bodies only accounts for all of them. Nearly a third of the total number of asteroids in the Earth.
Miles said in a conference call: “NASA and partner agencies have now discovered that more than 95% of asteroids that could potentially trigger global disasters will not pose a threat to the planet in this century. Effective emergency procedures can save lives. Unlike most natural disasters, asteroids can be prevented from colliding with the Earth. ”
Johnson said: "The implementation of national strategies and action plans for the prevention of near-Earth objects will enhance the country's ability to prevent asteroid collisions, respond effectively to potentially occurring sudden disasters, and effectively detect possible collisions with the Earth. planet. ”