How NASA Assesses Risk of Asteroid Impacts and Prevents Them: DART Mission and NEO Surveyor

How NASA Assesses Risk of Asteroid Impacts and Prevents Them

NASA’s Vigilant Watch for Asteroid Impacts and Their Ambitious Mitigation Measures

Nestled in the vast expanse of our solar system, Earth is not immune to the lurking danger of asteroid impacts. These celestial wanderers pose a genuine threat, as evidenced by the catastrophic impact 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Assessing the Risk

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) acts as the watchful guardian, monitoring and assessing the risk of asteroid impacts. Their meticulous observations play a vital role in safeguarding our planet.

Currently, no known asteroids pose an immediate threat to Earth. However, CNEOS has identified a 72% chance of a presently untracked asteroid colliding with our planet on July 12, 2038.

While large-scale asteroid collisions are rare, smaller impacts can still cause widespread damage on a local level. CNEOS vigilantly monitors asteroids of all sizes to ensure timely detection and response in the event of an impending threat.

Mission to Deflect: DART and Beyond

In a bold endeavor to mitigate asteroid hazards, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission in 2021. This groundbreaking mission successfully altered the trajectory of a small asteroid, demonstrating the feasibility of deflecting potentially dangerous objects.

Building upon DART’s success, NASA is developing an enhanced infrared space telescope called the Near-Earth Object Surveyor (NEO Surveyor). This advanced instrument will significantly enhance the detection and tracking of asteroids with the potential to impact Earth, providing years of advance warning.

International Collaboration: A United Front

Asteroid threats transcend national boundaries, necessitating international cooperation. NASA collaborates closely with space agencies worldwide to pool resources and expertise in detecting, assessing, and responding to potential impacts.

This collaboration ensures that our planet is protected not by a single entity but by a united front of nations working tirelessly to ensure our safety from celestial perils.

Conclusion: Vigilance, Innovation, and Global Cooperation

NASA’s unrelenting vigilance, coupled with groundbreaking missions like DART and the innovative NEO Surveyor telescope, provides a robust defense against asteroid threats.

However, the challenges posed by asteroids are not solely technological but also require global cooperation and a shared commitment to safeguarding our planet. By working together, we can strengthen our defenses and ensure a future where Earth remains a sanctuary amidst the vast expanse of space.

By Deepika

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