Asteroid To Hit Earth in 2036?
February 20, 2007 6 Comments
An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said on Saturday.
Astronomers are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.
Although the odds of an impact by this particular asteroid are low, a recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover hundreds, if not thousands of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.
“It’s not just Apophis we’re looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue,” Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the earth in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Francisco.
Schweickart plans to present an update next week to the U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.