Astronomers in the UK are planning a mission to find out if a dangerous asteroid will hit the earth between 2029 and 2036?and to figure out what we can do to stop it.
BBC News reports that a thousand-foot-wide rock called Apophis is hurtling through space and is due to fly past the Earth in April, 2029 "at a distance [of around 22,000 miles] that is closer than many communications satellites." So far, we haven't heard any news about this from NASA, which seems too busy with plans to return to the moon in order to get hold of the valuable Helium 3 fuel there, but the UK is offering a $50,000 prize to the group that can track the asteroid and perhaps even find a way to deflect its orbit. A small British space company called Astrium thinks they can do it.
BBC News quotes British politician Lembit Opik as saying, "The question isn't whether Earth is hit by an asteroid?it is when. Good luck to Astrium; they are showing that if we have the political will, we certainly have the technical know-how to do something about threatening objects."
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