A fictional asteroid is heading towards Earth for a collision drill that tests our response systems

A fictional asteroid is heading towards Earth for a collision drill that tests our response systems


April 29, 2021 at 08:54 GMT

Training to counter the hypothetical threat seeks to provide information to better prepare and mitigate any challenges that may actually present themselves.

It can be difficult to predict a disaster scenario of such magnitude as the hypothetical impact of a large asteroid on Earth, but that is precisely why a plan is necessary in the event such a challenge arises. This is why institutions from several countries will participate this week in a simulation With the purpose Confronting the threat of an imaginary being Approaching the planet.

During the Planetary Defense Conference, held in Vienna (Austria), it aims to find out whether current technologies, systems and institutions can deal with a true asteroid crisis threatening the lives of planets. Agencies like NASA and ESA are participating in this simulation exercise.

The so far hypothetical threat has been located in an asteroid, called 2021 PDC, that astronomers discovered in Hawaii on April 19. The object is located 57 million kilometers, and its closest approach to Earth will happen on October 20, 2021, in just six months. Although the effect probability was low in the beginning, with the passage of time it was considered to be increasing.

When it was determined that there was a relatively high likelihood of an effect, specialists began to think Ways to alleviate the problem, But they concluded that the working time was very short. In this context, they argue that special importance should be given to early detection systems.

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“Each time we participate in an exercise of this kind, we learn more about who are the main players in the disaster event, who needs to know the information and when,” Commented Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer.

The exercises are also intended to boost Double Asteroid Redirection’s long-awaited mission (ArrowTo be held in 2022, which is intended to be the first true demonstration of the asteroid deflection technology.

Zoe Marsh

 "Avid internet practitioner. Bacon fanatic. Zombie advocate. Tv lover. Beer geek. Alcohol fanatic."

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