Gallery: Chinese Researchers Plan to Use a Solar Sail to Save Earth fro...

 

Chinese researchers plan to build a solar sail-powered spacecraft that will launch into space in the near future on a suicide mission to save planet Earth. Now, stay on your toes, this gets tricky. There is an astroid, called Apophis, that is headed straight into our orbit in 2029. Predictions in 2004 said that this astroid in question would most likely hit the Earth or the Moon, possibly destroying all life on our planet. Additional observations said that Apophis, deadly astroid, was actually most probably not going to hit us in 2029, but would definitely whip back around through a “keyhole” in the solar system and hit us in 2036 — maybe ending all life on planet Earth. That is, unless the Chinese plan works out — if it fails, the Europeans are planning a deflecting game of their own, which they’ll be trying out in 2015.

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  1. lazyreader August 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Why divert an asteroid when one can safely bring a small one toward Earth. Using the sail to sustain it in an orbit. We could hold the keys to asteroid mining. A comparatively small M-type asteroid with a mean diameter of less than one kilometer could contain more than two billion metric tons of iron-nickel ore, or two to three times the annual iron production for 2004. In fact, all the gold, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium and ruthenium that we now mine from the Earth’s crust, and that are essential for economic and technological progress, came originally from the bombardment of asteroids and meteors throughout geologic time. And even the minute amount of precious metals imbedded in them is worth trillions of dollars.

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