Every year an estimated 18,000 to 84,000 meteorites hit the Earth, thankfully they’re all so tiny, they’ve very little impact on our day-to-day lives.
Unfortunately though, we know for certain, there are huge asteroids out there, some of which have a very real possibility of hitting the planet and wiping out all life on Earth.
It’s believed this has happened before and probably had a hand in ending the dominion of the dinosaurs – it could very well spell the doom of man as well.
Thankfully, unlike the dinosaurs, who were woefully unprepared for the whole rocks from space scenario, we’ve got NASA, who’ve been busy coming up with ways to deal with asteroids, according to RT.
When I say they’ve been busy coming up with plans, I mean they’ve got four which if I’m honest, doesn’t make me feel very secure – I mean I’m no rocket scientist but I mean it’s hardly brain surgery to come up with a way to stop rocks hitting the planet.
Blatant sarcasm aside here are the plans for dealing with an asteroid apocalypse:
1. Use a Gravity Tractor
Unlike boring tractors here on Earth, who exist solely to block country roads and cause traffic jams, a gravity tractor is a type of spacecraft designed to subtly alter the course of an asteroid away from the Earth as it approaches.
Unfortunately, this method needs us to be aware of the asteroid before it collides with the Earth and NASA have a patchy record when it comes to huge rocks approaching the planet.
Earlier this year an asteroid the size of a passenger aircraft was detected after passing extremely close to Earth. That’s right, after it had passed.
2. Push it away
Okay, we’re only on option two and our defences against asteroids have already gotten ludicrously pathetic.
When I hear NASA is developing a means to protect us from asteroids I want proper science, not the same tactic I used to employ against my little sister when she annoyed me as a kid.
This method is exactly what it says on the tin and involves crashing a rocket into an asteroid in the hopes of pushing it off a collision course with the planet.
Now we’re talking!
This is the stuff you want from NASA, Death Star style stuff, not tractors and pushing.
The only problem is they’ve not actually built a laser capable of destroying an asteroid yet.
Not to demean NASA here, but you can’t claim to have three ways of doing something if you haven’t figured one of them out yet.
4. Nuke it
Turns out, just like North Korea, NASA’s last resort is to just use nukes.
Yeah, NASA’s last line of defence would be to nuke the asteroid and hope it does enough damage to break the rock up or knock it off course.
Not going to lie, it sounds like we’re screwed – unless of course, we train some deep core drillers to go to space?
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.