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Smash It on Purpose

It's like a video game in the sky: A joint mission between Europe and the US plans to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid in order to prove that incoming space rocks can be knocked off their paths before they collide with Earth.

The Asteroid impact and Deflection Assessment mission (AIDA) will intercept the asteroid Didymos in 2022, when it is about 6.5 million miles from impacting us. Didymos is a binary system, with an 800 meter wide asteroid and a smaller 150 meter space rock orbiting each other. It does not pose a threat in the foreseeable future, so it's OK if we miss.

AIDA will send a space rocket smashing into the smaller asteroid at about 14,000 mph. Hopefully, the collision to knock the smaller asteroid from its established path around the larger one.

RT News quotes researcher Andy Cheng as saying, "There is a science aspect to it and a planetary defense aspect to it."

They quote ESA official Andrés Gálvez as saying, "AIDA is not just an asteroid mission, it is also meant as a research platform open to all different mission users."

At least we know SOMETHING that's going to happen in the future (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows). Here's something else really neat that's coming up in May: Our incredible Nashville Symposium,  featuring some of the most dynamic speakers on the planet. To get your tickets, click here. The price includes breakfast Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Saturday, and if an asteroid doesn't hit us first, we'll see you there. You never know WHO will show up!

  • Image Credit:
  • NASA

My concern is that in smashing asteroids, we don't create big meteors that fly off in all directions, catapulted by the immense forces of the explosion. We humans have a history of finding ways to 'correct' or 'improve' things that turn out to cause more harm than the original cause.

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