NASA to divert asteriod Bennu from hitting Earth with spacecraft Hammer

NASA to divert asteriod Bennu from hitting Earth with spacecraft Hammer

Also, Bennu has a 1 in 2,700 chance of striking Earth on September 25, 2135.

The scheme to negate the chances of this large asteroid to hit Earth is called the Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response - more easily referred to as HAMMER.

A small asteroid, about the size of the Empire State building, could be heading towards Earth in the year 2135 and although it isn't as big as the one believed to have hit Earth during the era of the dinosaurs, it is still a cause of grave concern. This push in Bennu's orbit and shape is also an effect of it repeatedly passing close to Venus and Earth, explained NASA.

In an integrated study by NASA and the National Nuclear Security Administration, researchers have two realistic responses if Bennu comes too close to Earth.

If the odds are not in Earth's favor, and Bennu becomes a bigger threat, OSIRIS-REx could be followed by a beefier craft that would break off a lot more. This has prompted NASA to send an nearly nine-ton "bulk impactor", created to nudge Bennu out of Earth's orbit, thus saving the planet from the prospective apocalypse.

However, Brent W Barbee - the NASA aerospace engineer who helped author the study on HAMMER - has said the entire thing is still theoretical.

To put it in perspective with actual numbers, the odds of Bennu hitting us are around 1 in 2700, and even if it were to happen the NASA team thinks they have it all figured out. Generating a working framework to avoid an Earth impact could save lives.

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Space.com explained: "Because Bennu is so dark, it tends to absorb the sun's radiation".

The plan itself involves using nuclear weapons to blow apart asteroids, Armageddon style, but thankfully, the Russian scientists involved with the test weren't actually playing with unsafe radioactive materials.

NASA has a Planetary Defense Coordination Office that tries to detect risky asteroids and comets close to Earth's orbit.

Nasa has been monitoring the enormous space rock since it was discovered in 1999, and has sent out a space probe to take samples. Still, it never hurts to be prepared, and taking steps to be prepared now will protect us from Bennu as well as any other asteroids or space objects that crop up and threaten us here on earth.

Bennu is, the report says, a "well-studied roughly spherical body" that gives researchers a good target for their calculations - data points to punch into the algorithm.

As of October 2, 2017, NASA reports the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was more than 3 million miles from Earth or about 13 times the distance between our planet and its moon.

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