This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

05 January 2006

Interview with Don Yeomans on NEOs, Mitigation, and Apophis

"...that object [Apophis] is of concern. Not in 2029, when it makes its close approach, but -- once you do have a close approach like that, it makes computing the subsequent orbital position of that object more difficult. So, if that object passes through a 600 meter sized keyhole, in 2029, that is, a location in space that is only 600 meters wide, if it passes through that, it will indeed hit the Earth in 2036. Now the chances of it actually passing through this 600 meter sized keyhole in 2029 is extremely low, and we'll know whether it will or won't probably next year when we get additional radar data in May of 2006. And if we can't rule it our then, there's an additional radar opportunity in 2013 that will almost certainly rule out this possibility. In the unlikely possibility that we don't rule it out in 2013, there's still time to mount a mission to deal with it. This object illustrates the point rather well. It was discovered early, so we have lots of options. The first is to wait until 2013, when this whole thing will almost certainly go away."


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