Do you remember seeing that image somewhere? All the crazy stories coming out of Siberia about what caused it? Well it was an asteroid (or comet or UFO?!) in 1908,which was an explosion equivalent to between 5 and 30 megatons of TNT occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in a remote region of Russia’s Siberia. The Tunguska blast flattened 80 million trees, destroying an area of around 2,150 sq km (830 sq miles).
Well don’t look now, but another asteroid roughly three times as big as the Tunguska one is coming for Earth – but no worries, Russia plans to save us! Anatoly Perminov, head of Roscosmos, tells Voice of Russia radio that Moscow may invite experts from Europe, the United States and China to join the project aimed at thwarting the menacing asteroid Apophis.
“People’s lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and design a system that would prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people.”
Well when you put it that way – this actually seems kind of scary. The asteroid is due to hit Earth in the 2030′s – NASA predicts 2036. NASA however also wrote that an update of its orbit indicated “a significantly reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with Earth in 2036.” NASA dropped the odds of it hitting Earth in 2036 from a 1-in-45,000 to 1-in-250,000 .
Perminov offers no hint as to how Russia plans to deal with Apophis, except to say it would not destroy the asteroid. He also said after having considered the project, Russia could invite experts from Europe, the United States and China to join it. This truly is right out of a movie script.
“No nuclear explosions (will be carried out), everything (will be done) on the basis of the laws of physics.”
There are no other details at this time, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated! Sounds like a mission for these guys – WE’LL DRAW STRAWS!
Update: It will probably look like this…