NASA Planning to Destroy Asteroids Heading Towards Earth With Nuclear Bombs
Photo Credits: Pixabay/For representational purpose only

Every few days we come across reports of asteroids heading towards the Earth. While most of them are too small and just whilst past away the atmosphere, there are some big ones which can cause damage to life and property. In a bid to deal with the asteroid shower and the threats, space agency NASA is planning to destroy Asteroid Bennu- a big one expected to hit the Earth in September 2135. Although it seems too far, they want to curb the likely hazard of this one with the help of nuclear bombs.

NASA along with two Energy Department weapons labs have is working on designing and developing a spacecraft which can deliver nukes to it if it gets closer. This project is called the HAMMER, which stands for "Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response." The Asteroid Bennu is 1,600ft asteroid orbiting around the sun and has 87 million-ton weight. The chances of it hitting the Earth's surface are very less but there is still a rough chance which cannot be ignored due to the sheer volume of it.

The idea of developing such a spacecraft is it will ram into a Bennu-like asteroid and slow it enough. The Sun can then exert more pull around it to change its orbital path, and thus save its collision into the Earth. This is called the impactor method since the technique impacts to change the course. The idea is also to terminate by blasting a nuke to it.

All of this is very much in the planning stage and might not see the results because the costs of building such infrastructure are very high. NASA will need to get heavy funding to work on something like this, which right now looks dismal. NASA already has one space probe heading towards Bennu called OSIRIS- REx. Earth has been hit by several asteroids even before and since most of them are like debris the effects aren't seen. Plus the chances of Bennu hitting Earth being so less, the mission looks far-fetched.