The premise of all life as we know it being extinct because of the impact of an asteroid has already been explored theoretically in movies, and most of the time, the solution would be to send a nuke to blow that asteroid into smithereens. Is nuclear power the only answer? Well, it seems that European scientists intend to take a slightly different route. Known as the NEOShield Consortium, this particular group remains focused on developing defenses against killer asteroids that could wipe out entire cities upon impact.
To ensure the safety of humanity, Project NEOShield has started to designed a range of massive spacecraft that is known as kinetic impactors. These will be launched from earth itself, achieving a velocity that is high enough to break up any incoming asteroids upon impact. They are keeping their fingers crossed that through this, the targeted asteroid would either be smashed to bits for us to enjoy a meteor shower here on earth, or to slow down or hasten these asteroids enough so that we will be able to chalk it up as yet another near-miss event. The speed that these kamikaze aircraft will travel? Really high, as NEOShield scientists have already managed to accelerate millimeter-sized objects to more than 22,000 miles per hour before sending them to smash into blocks of stone.
Filed in Science.. Read more about