According to CNEOS, the asteroid
's next near-Earth approach will happen on Aug.
Then, in 2024, they would send out three space probes that would try to break up and deflect the asteroid
. Since a small piece was still heading towards Manhattan in 2027, the emergency team initiated a mass evacuation of the city, even as they raised awareness of the threat to politicians and the public through events.
This is to minimise the accumulation of dust on the panels during the sample gathering process and to minimise damage to the spacecraft in case it tips over and gets uncomfortably close to the asteroid
. NASA has developed a touch-and-go sample gathering arm, which hangs below the spacecraft.
Besides national prestige, there has long been interest in the commercial exploitation of the asteroids
. While the main asteroid
belt is quite difficult to access, a small selection of asteroids
fly quite close to the Earth and these so called 'Near Earth Asteroids
' would be relatively easy to find.
are rocky leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Identifying the very oldest asteroid
families, those billions of years old, is challenging, because over time, a family spreads out.
Hundreds of miles separate asteroid
, so a spacecraft tends not to have any problem navigating the asteroid
belt to reach the outer solar system.
Initiatives LLC (www.asteroidinitiatives.com) was founded to unlock the economic potential of deep space through asteroid
exploration and economic development.
NASA challenged the public and amateur scientists delivered, coming up with a software application that can help identify more asteroids
, some of which endanger our planet.
One new feature is a speeding bullet: the spacecraft's Small Carry-on Impactor will use an explosive device to shoot a 2-kg copper projectile at the asteroid
at a velocity of 2 km/sec (4,000 mph).
The idea that Mars may shake up the surface of an asteroid
is a surprising one: As Binzel points out, the planet is one-third the size of Earth, and one-tenth as massive-and therefore exerts a far weaker gravitational pull on surrounding objects.
He specialises in asteroid
science, including asteroid
discovery, orbit computation, and photometry.