No known asteroid impact threats for next 100 years: NASA

2023-04-20 08:16:47Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

There will be no known asteroid impact threats for at least 100 years, according to NASA's new planetary defense plan.

NASA released its Planetary Defense Strategy and Action Plan on Tuesday to guide the agency's efforts over the next decade.

For three decades, NASA has engaged in studying near-Earth objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets that orbit the sun and come within 30 million miles of Earth orbit.

While NEOs have the potential to help planetary scientists better understand the birth and formation of the solar system, some travel in orbits that bring them close enough to Earth's vicinity to make them potential impact hazards, said NASA.

Key areas of focus for NASA's planetary defense identified in the strategy include improving NEO survey, detection, and characterization efforts, developing and demonstrating NEO mitigation technologies similar to the agency's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, and fostering international collaboration related to NEO surveying and mitigation.

"An asteroid impact with Earth has potential for catastrophic devastation, and it is also the only natural disaster humanity now has sufficient technology to completely prevent," said Lindley Johnson, NASA's planetary defense officer. "The release of this NASA strategy steps up NASA's intentions for the next 10 years to ensure the agency works both nationally and internationally to protect our planet for the benefit of all." 


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