We Could Move Our Planet To A Wider Orbit – The Strategies, Explained

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If you’ve ever watched the sci-fi movie, The Wandering Earth, that has been recently released on Netflix, you saw the scenario in which humanity tries to change our planet’s orbit using some massive thrusters in order to escape the expanding Sun and also prevent a collision with Jupiter.

But is this scenario that sci-fi after all? A scientist believes that one day, it could all become a reality.

Ars Technica reported the news, and they write that in about five million years, the Sun will be running out of fuel and will expand. It will most likely engulf our planet, the online publication notes.

They also write that a much more immediate disaster is a global warming apocalypse.

The solution to all of this is reportedly moving the Earth to a wider orbit, and it seems that this is even possible – even if only theoretically speaking.

The online magazine addresses the engineering challenges, and for the sake of the discussion, they assume that we aim to move the planet from its current orbit to an orbit that’s 50% further from the Sun.

Techniques to move Earth 

Experts have been trying various technologies to move asteroids, which are definitely much smaller bodies from their orbits in order to protect Earth from various impacts.

“Some are based on an impulsive, and often destructive, action: a nuclear blast near or on the surface of the asteroid, or a “kinetic impactor,” for example, a spacecraft colliding with the asteroid at high velocity,” Ars Technica notes.

Of course, we cannot apply the same techniques to move Earth.

The online magazine also addresses other potential techniques which are more or less successful: a constant push over time provided by a tugboat docked on the surface of the asteroid, but this would be impossible for Earth.

They also address some pretty impressive proposals such as electric thrusters, sailing on light, and interplanetary billiard. We recommend that you head over to the original article to see what all of these involve.


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