Home » [여적] Asteroid Defense – Kyunghyang Shinmun

[여적] Asteroid Defense – Kyunghyang Shinmun

by archyde
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A spacecraft launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for an Earth-defense test successfully collided with the asteroid Dimorphus. NASA live video capture

Many modern people do not have time to see the shooting stars in the night sky, but it is said that an average of 17 shooting stars are falling to the earth every day. If you include a small meteorite that enters the atmosphere and burns, more celestial bodies will be facing the Earth at this moment. Some are not as romantic as the meteorite that burned over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February 2013. At that time, 110 people were hospitalized due to a meteorite that smashed windows with a roar. It is the biggest ‘meteorite disaster’ that mankind has seen since the meteorite that was said to have wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted an experiment on the 27th by colliding an object with a meteorite that could face Earth. The target was an asteroid ‘Dimorphus’ with a diameter of 160 m, located about 11 million km from Earth. In a video released by NASA, a small spacecraft equipped with a camera was approaching the asteroid, and the signal was cut off after sending a picture of the asteroid’s surface just before impact. NASA said the spacecraft hit its target precisely 10 months after launch. It is said that it will take about four years to finally confirm the success of the experiment through the changes in the orbit of the asteroid and the marks on its surface. The asteroid is unlikely to be directed to Earth, but has been selected as a target for ‘Planetary Defense’ technology. The principle is the same as the missile defense (MD) technology. “Defense Earth is an effort that unites the world in that it affects all life on Earth,” NASA said.

<딥 임팩트> For those of you familiar with the same Hollywood movies, you might be thinking, “You mean you don’t have this level of skill?” However, it seems clear that this sci-fi imagination is leading scientific and technological research in a specific direction. It is also necessary to conduct such research. The question is how seriously we should take the possibility of Earth’s destruction by meteorites. With the development of telescope technology, only more than 10,000 objects of a certain size or larger that are likely to fall to Earth have been identified, and the number is constantly increasing. But there will always be so many such celestial bodies. Most people do not feel the threat of human existence due to meteorites. If the earth is destroyed, wouldn’t it be more likely due to human-made factors such as nuclear weapons or climate crisis?

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