While the asteroid Bennu could strike Earth in a hundred years, China wants to act to deviate from its trajectory. And not just any old way.
Have you ever seen Armageddon? This cult film starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck follows a team of oil drilling specialists called in to save humanity from an asteroid heading straight for Earth. The end of the film, you probably already know it, and for those who have never watched, we wouldn’t want to spoil you. But the story we are going to tell you here could be worthy of a sci-fi movie like Armageddon.
And for good reason, China would think of sending missiles on an asteroid to deviate its trajectory. And it is indeed true, it is not the scenario of a film. We explain to you: China wants to divert the trajectory of Bennu, a potentially dangerous asteroid, which could crash on Earth between 2175 and 2199. This celestial body of approximately 500 meters in diameter would have a 1 chance in 2700 to come into contact with our planet in a hundred years or so.
If the shock were to occur, it would be about 80,000 times greater than that of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. It is therefore easy to understand why China wants to avoid all this.
Chinese specialists therefore want to send about twenty rockets at the same time on Bennu – or Bénou, in French – in order to deviate from its orbit and remove the danger hovering on Earth. For the moment, no precise date for this project has been revealed. But China is not the only one. Indeed, NASA and the European Space Agency also want to send missiles at Didymos, a potentially threatening asteroid duo.
But before, in 2022, a small vessel of the DART mission will have to jump on the asteroid to deviate its trajectory by one millimeter per second. So that the Earth can continue to live serenely.
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