Stop the asteroid impact… NASA’s Real-life ‘Armageddon’ Experiment | Morning & World

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An asteroid impact is one of the potentially dangerous factors that, in the worst case, could wipe out humanity. NASA has launched the first human experiment to find a way to save Earth from an asteroid impact. An asteroid the size of the state of Texas in the United States is rushing towards Earth at 23,000 miles per hour. When NASA found out about this, they drilled a hole in the asteroid, loaded it with a nuclear bomb, and detonated it to save the planet. It is the content of the movie Armageddon, which was released in 1998 and became a huge box office hit in Korea. However, NASA has started a historic experiment reminiscent of the movie Armageddon.

[3, 2, 1. 팰컨 9 로켓과 다트 우주선이 발사됐습니다.]

On the 24th at 3:21 pm local time, a spacecraft to perform a double asteroid orbital test was launched aboard a SpaceX Felcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The spacecraft, named after the initials of the experiment’s name, is scheduled to orbit the Sun and collide with the asteroid Dimorphus at about 11 million kilometers from Earth around the end of September next year. Dimorphos is about 160 meters in diameter, about the size of a soccer field. And the Dart spacecraft, which is the size of a small car weighing 620 kg, slightly changes the orbit of Dimorphus through a collision. An experiment is considered successful if the orbital period of Dimorphus changes by more than 73 seconds. Let’s hear what a NASA official has to say.

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[빌 넬슨/NASA 관계자 : 만약에 실제로 우리의 행성 지구로 돌진하는 큰 소행성이 있다면, 이 실험은 아마도 지구를 구할 수 있는 대응법이 될 것입니다.]

Scientists warn that an asteroid with a potential to collide with the Earth has not been discovered at present, but there is a possibility that an asteroid may collide with the Earth at any time and cause damage. About 4,000 buildings were destroyed by the explosion of meteorites, and more than 1,000 people were injured. If an entire asteroid, much larger than a meteorite, collides with the Earth, it will inevitably lead to a greater catastrophe. Let’s take a closer look at the asteroid impact test conducted by NASA. In-taek Chae, an international reporter for JoongAng Ilbo, is connected by phone. Hello?

  • Humanity’s first experiment to change the orbit of a celestial body… evaluation?

    That’s right. It can be seen that the extent to which mankind has observed or descended so far has entered a stage of direct influence and control over the entire universe that has ended. Looking at it now, the collision of a dart spacecraft the size of a small car with a diameter of 160 m and a weight of 620 kg can be seen as a very precise space flight. It also has the meaning of elevating mankind’s spaceflight capability to the next level. The problem is that there is also the potential for military use of these technologies. So, it seems that the space technology competition is accelerating with this opportunity.

  • How the asteroid’s orbit changes due to a spacecraft collision… background?

    You can’t be satisfied with the first drink. And also, if you want to put a nuclear bomb, you have to land on an asteroid, which will have to be big and there will be various technical obstacles. And the purpose of this experiment is to protect the Earth from asteroid impact, not an asteroid removal experiment. And detonating a nuclear bomb in outer space is very dangerous. If the asteroid is split into many fragments, the chances of it collide with Earth increase. And now, of course, this method can be used as a last resort when a collision with the Earth is imminent or when the size is large enough to make it difficult to change the orbit.

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  • Dinosaur extinction theory… Asteroid impact risk, to what extent?

    That’s right. 66 million years ago, geologically, during the Cretaceous-Paleocene mass extinction, many animals and plants, including dinosaurs, went extinct at the same time. There is a hypothesis that one of the causes is an asteroid impact with a diameter of 10 km. Also, apart from the previous ones, there was an incident in 1908 that made a huge hole near Tungus in central Siberia and caused a large fire in the nearby taiga. There is a hypothesis that one of the causes is a 40m meteorite impact. Looking at this, even Earth cannot be completely safe, and now NASA has been searching for asteroids that are close to Earth since 1998. That said, there are 27,000 asteroids within a radius of 48 million kilometers. And since 2015, more than 1500 additional discoveries have been made each year. The problem is, none of these discoveries are likely to collide with the Earth in the next 100 years, but we don’t know what will happen to the undiscovered ones. We know that less than half of what we’ve discovered now, these risks are always there, and based on science, we have an obligation to challenge, prevent, the dangers of these asteroids.

All right. I heard you well. Chae In-taek was an international reporter for JoongAng Ilbo. The Dart spacecraft will collide with the asteroid Dimorphus between September 26 and October 1 next year. About 10 days before the collision, a microsatellite, which is separated from the spacecraft, plans to record the collision image and transmit it to Earth. Through this, it seems that the success of the experiment will be announced by calculating how much the orbit of the asteroid has changed. The world’s attention is focused on the results that will come out about 10 months later whether the first human experiment in preparation for an asteroid impact will be successful. So far, it has been Morning & World.

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