Just thinking about an asteroid heading towards Earth, and it might give you thrills. But, for some scientists, a big space rock on a collision course with our world could be a real “gold mine.” So, some astronomers want the put an asteroid into a collision route with Earth and employ “aerobraking” to get it stuck in Earth’s orbit.
A space rock heading toward Earth would imply some risks, but the scientists are more than happy to pay the price as such an opportunity would result in lots of scientific discoveries, while we could also employ some asteroid mining to score profits.
However, since no asteroid is on collision route with our world, just yet, a few astronomers plan on guiding one towards us and use a method called “aerobraking” to stop it in its flight.
Astronomers plan to put an asteroid on a collision course with Earth to explore it and mine it
“To guarantee that the candidate asteroids cannot present an impact risk during aerobraking, an initial aerobraking hazard analysis is undertaken and accordingly only asteroids with a diameter less than 30 m are considered as candidates in this paper,” said the astronomers from the University of Glasgow in their new study’s report.
The whole thing is straightforward on paper, at least. The scientists plan to use the Earth’s atmosphere to slow down the space rock and then to put the asteroid in Earth’s orbit where it can be explored and even mined.
But first, the astronomers have to put an asteroid on a collision route with Earth. To achieve that, they plan on sending an uncrewed space vessel to one space rock and guide that towards our planet using the craft’s propelling force. And, if you wonder, the scientists already have the ideal candidate in the name of 2005 VL1 which have the perfect size and velocity for such a mission.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.