It looks like NASA is turning its attention to trying to destroy future threats to Earth. What do we mean by this? Well, NASA along with the National Nuclear Security Administration are working on a new project named Hammer. Hammer is going to be a 30 foot long shuttle whose main goal is going to be destroying any incoming asteroids that may enter Earth’s trajectory.
Bennu – a possible threat for Earth
With only a 1 in 2700 chance of hitting Earth by 2135, Bennu is not a huge threat to Earth but the number is still high enough that NASA has started to take the necessary precautions in face of a possible disaster.
Since Bennu is a very large asteroid, its diameter spanning to almost one third of a mile, the possible impact would be equal to the power that the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima had, multiplied by 80,000.
This asteroid was discovered in 1999 by NASA. Since the possibility of it colliding with Earth in the near foreseeable future is a high one, this asteroid was put on the Sentry Risk Table. It is the third one on this list due to the 1 in 2700 before mentioned chance of it entering Earth’s trajectory. Since every 130,000 years or so this process tends to happen it is only natural that the risks that these hazardous objects may impose should be carefully looked at.
More details about HAMMER
HAMMER stands for Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response. This project, if successful, would mark one of Earth’s best defenses against the possible threat of collision with an asteroid. Since dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid, it is safe to assume that sometime in the future we may be faced with a similar situation, whether it is going to be 100 years from now or 1000. We should start to prepare for the worst possible outcome.