Posted by: maboulette | August 23, 2011


This is a imagining of Cosmos 1, The Planetary...

Image via Wikipedia

Friday, August 19th, 2011 Published at 


A group of Chinese scientists have projected a way to prevent the possible collision of Apophis – a 46-million-ton asteroid – with the Earth in 2036.

The asteroid – which is 270 metres in diameter – will approach Earth at a distance of 37,000-38,000 km in 2029. In 2036, Apophis may come back and collide with Earth April 13, 2036.

According to scientists, the chance of a collision in 2036 is extremely slim and the asteroid would likely disintegrate into smaller parts and smaller collisions with Earth could occur in the following years.

However, a group of Chinese astronomers headed by Shengping Gong of Tsinghua University in Beijing have published an article proposing to place a small spacecraft with a solar sail into a retrograde orbit in order to change the asteroid’s trajectory.

The retrograde orbit will give the spacecraft an impact velocity of 90 km per second which – if done well enough in advance – will prevent Apophis from returning to Earth.

The project may be difficult to realize as all kinds of variations in the solar wind could send the spacecraft wildly off course, according to

The asteroid, discovered in 2004, is considered the largest threat to our planet, although NASA scientists say the likelihood of a hazardous strike on Earth in 2036 is unlikely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: