Yes, Nuking the Asteroids can Actually Save Earth from Damage

Asteroids have been playing a one-sided battle with the Earth for a long time. But, it won’t be the case anymore, as nuking the asteroids can save us from their uninvited damage to Earth.

According to the latest study, we have the potential to destroy the rocky interlopers (asteroids) before they hit the Earth, reports Gizmodo, and Universe Today.

At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, experiments run to study the impact simulation once every two years. But, the earlier year experiment, ‘2021 PDC’ detected the asteroid 6 months before it was about to reach the Earth’s surface. Earlier it was supposed that the time to deploy the hazards of the asteroid was insufficient, so the focus was just to manage the disaster response. Yes, we are vulnerable to the call of asteroids, and it is an alarming reminder.

We do have the idea to respond to nudge the asteroid with the help of the gravitational pull of a bulky spacecraft. Kinetic impactors can be an alternative as they will alter the path of the asteroid or a nuclear device will pierce it into a million pieces. These methods would lead to a result only if they are done decades advance and protect the Earth from the threat. 

The published research in the Acta Astronautica tells that the disruption would even help the Earth from asteroids before they strike our surface. It tells us that we can fight back the asteroids as soon as they come on our radar.

Breaking the asteroid into pieces with a nuclear bomb is tough to turn into truth. The topic of concern was the remaining fragments and it is even possible to ensure that the debris won’t walk towards Earth, as if this happens then the case would get worse.

Patrick King from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory studied these fragments that disintegrate from the nuked asteroid. These fragments orbit the sun and to get more results gravitational factors were also considered during the simulation.

In the simulation, the effect of the metal bomb on a 328-foot-long (100-meter) asteroid was considered and simulations were as well made on asteroids with five different orbits. The results were positive as these nuclear tests that ran months advance deduced the volume of the material crossing our surface.

The 99 percent of the damage from a 100-cadence object apparently hitting Earth can often be illuminated by the nuclear disruption technique when enforced months prior.

The asteroid mass will nuke away months before. The technology is not that impressive for extremely massive objects.

The nuclear disruption technique is based on general physics but the uncertainty in the properties of the celestial bodies, here asteroids can lead to complexities. Therefore, a detailed analysis is necessary.

King paved a possibility not guaranteed though, that this disruption technique could reduce disasters if disrupted beforehand i.e. 2 weeks.

Disruption is thereby an effective shield against planetary events and shall be before a strong backup strategy with the warning that it can fail. More than nuking an asteroid it is a planetary defense. Dimorphous, a spacecraft on October 2, 2022, will be launched to alter the trajectory of the asteroid. Life-saving requires more actions so a kinetic impactor could be launched in case of emergency.


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