The simulations conducted by NASA as part of the Planetary Defense Conference exercise leave no illusions. In the event that an asteroid collides with our suspected planet, we are practically defenseless.
/123RF / PICSEL
NASA and European Space Agency scientists collaborated in a one-week conference to develop possible solutions in the event of a hypothetical threat to an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
Scientists had to face a specific scenario: the object was discovered 57 million kilometers away on a collision course with Earth and would collide with Earth in about 6 months. At the end of the simulation, experts concluded that current technologies did not prevent disaster.
The simulations were conducted to assess the global capacity to respond to space threats using current technologies and to test “how international agencies respond to anticipating the actual impact”. On each day of the conference, participants received more information about the size and trajectory of the asteroid, thus simulating what such an event might look like in reality.
Unfortunately, the hypothetical scenario ended up with a fictional object called 2021PDC hitting Eastern Europe.
NASA explained that in the exercise, “space mission designers tried to predict what could be done to try to prevent an asteroid from colliding with an asteroid, but concluded that the short time since the discovery (less than 6 months) did not allow any effective action with attention to the current state of technology.”
At the moment, we are not threatened by any threat from space, but the probability of an object capable of destroying a city on Earth is estimated to be 0.1 percent. annually. The actual probability of such an event occurring is lower (about 0.000001), since the asteroid is more likely to collide with an ocean covering 71% of the planet. on the surface of the ground.
NASA estimates that two-thirds of objects over 140 meters in diameter have yet to be discovered, which means that the hypothetical scenario does not exceed the range of probability. In 2019, an asteroid the size of a soccer field was discovered just 24 hours before it passed between Earth and the moon. So the threat is very real.