Washington: Nuclear bombs – itself a threat to the humanity – to save the earth from dangerous space rocks?
Sounds like a new science-fiction movie but if we believe scientists, this is possible.
Researcher Bong Wie and his team from Iowa State University is developing a concept spacecraft called ‘Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle’, or HAIV.
The HAIV would rendezvous with an asteroid in deep space and send a kinetic impactor barrelling into the object to blast out a crater.
The nuclear bomb on board the vehicle would follow one millisecond behind – perhaps attached via a long boom, or perhaps flying freely – and then detonate inside the hole, shattering the asteroid into millions of tiny pieces.
The Russian meteor explosion last year was a wake-up call about the threat earth faces from incoming space rocks.
It’s just a matter of time before earth gets hit again and the next strike may inflict far more damage, Wie added.
“We need to be worried when a dangerous asteroid is coming towards the earth with much less time to spare – say less than a year. And nuclear bombs are the best answer,” stressed Wie.
Wie suggests that the HAIV concept be coupled with an asteroid-warning system.
“If our system is going to be built, tested pre-deployed and ready to be launched at any time, then we solve the problem,” he said.
Read more at Nuclear bombs to destroy earth-bound asteroids in space