An asteroid wiped out dinosaurs some 64 million years ago. And, there is no saying that something like this couldn’t happen to us. And, considering that, this new development at NASA makes more sense.
Recent reports have alluded to the fact that NASA is considering a range of steps in view of their planetary defense project. And, part of the efforts to defend the planet from space objects is building a telescope that can hunt for threatening asteroids. If you are not well caught with recent news regarding asteroids, here is the synopsis. It was revealed in 2019 that humans could not accurately predict when a catastrophic asteroid collision might happen with earth. It means that if an asteroid is predicted to graze past Earth thirty years from now, there is no saying that it will happen thirty years from now. It could happen today, it could happen tomorrow, and it could happen within hours.
Yes, it’s a complicated concept. But, space, as you know, is not a child’s play.
Anyways, an infrared telescope is in development at NASA after the pre-eminent agency has given clearance for the production. The infrared telescope to be developed by NASA would actively look for fast-moving objects that could potentially threaten life on earth upon collision.
The new telescope, which is still at the planning stage, has been dubbed as NEO Surveyor. The NEO Surveyor is an acronym for Near-Earth Object Surveyor. The space agency gave the clearance for the object in the aftermath of a successful mission review. The news has come forward courtesy of a post posted on the JPL website.
Mike Kelley, who works at NASA and now is a part of the NEO Surveyor program, has given a statement saying that the telescope would escalate NASA’s ability to detect the presence of calamitous comets more rapidly and accurately.
Kelley also revealed that the infrared telescope would detect the presence of 90 percent of the objects bigger than the threshold of 140 meters within ten years of its launch. Kelley alluded to the fact that objects would increase NASA’s ability to find out objects that pose a threat to life on earth. The primary objective of the project is to decrease the chances of an asteroid collision on earth.
It was also revealed earlier those humans don’t have much technology to destroy comets headed towards the earth without destroying themselves. However, humans can defend themselves if they can accurately predict the imminent collision. The key aspect here is time for preparation. If we can predict that an asteroid is about to impact the earth in 2078, then there is ample time to put capable minds on the problem and figure out a way to destroy or deflect the comet.
However, if NASA or any agency fails to detect the comet and imminent annihilation is revealed ten days prior to the impact, then there would be hardly anything humans could do about it other than instigating panic.
Source: NASA Is Manufacturing Space Telescope Specialized for Hunting Asteroids