21st Century Wire says…
After Russia finishes its fight with terrorism, it will look to take the fight to the stars.
Watch a video of this report here:
Asteroids, although we rarely hear about them in our day-to-day lives, are a real threat to our planet’s existence out there in space.
In 2013, an asteroid shattered to pieces in the atmosphere above Russia and the resulting debris injured over 500 people and caused widespread damage to buildings. Scarily, that space rock was only around 50 feet in diameter – imagine the chaos a larger asteroid could cause.
Say something three times larger, at 150 feet in diameter. Currently, scientists could only tell us where an asteroid that large would land within hours, which is not nearly enough time to properly respond.
Russia’s Kakeyev Rocket Design Bureau’s lead researcher Sabit Saitgarayev explains why conventional rockets cannot be used against such a threat:
“Most rockets work on boiling fuel. Their fueling begins 10 days before the launch and, therefore, they are unfit for destroying meteorites similar to the Chelyabinsk meteorite in diameter, which are detected several hours before coming close to the Earth,”
“For this purpose, intercontinental ballistic missiles can be used, which requires their upgrade.”
The researcher proposes repurposing old ICBMs to be ready to respond, within hours, to incoming asteroids that could cause catastrophic damage if not intercepted. The ICBMs, using solid fuel that does not require a long preparatory phase, would hit the targets with nuclear warheads above the atmosphere, vaporising them before they can cause harm.
The tactic is not fool proof, and could break a larger asteroid up into smaller rocks that would then be harder for subsequent missiles to intercept.
Russia hopes to have the plan ready for action by 2036, when the large asteroid Apophis is apparently scheduled to pass dangerously close to Earth.
Saving our planet from destruction is certainly a much more positive use for military technology than we have seen in recent times.
Do you believe we will be able to defend the planet from asteroids?
READ MORE ON SPACE: 21st Century Wire Science Files