What is new in the field of science? Well, scientists have started to plan for a new type of spacecraft, one able to destroy asteroids that may prove to be dangerous. The spacecraft is going to be called HAMMER. The name is more than just a crafty pun; it stands for Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response.
How did this plan emerge?
These plans were published at first in the Asta Astronautica magazine. While at first this type of spacecraft may seem to be not needed at all, since people always prepare for something before doing it properly, it is only natural that we should start to prepare in the event of Earth coming into contact with a dangerous type of asteroid.
HAMMER’s mission is going to be derailing the asteroid’s path by either using impact force or, if necessary, nuclear warheads.
More about HAMMER
Scientists are thinking of creating a large number of this type of spacecraft. Each one will weight almost 9 tons. The plan is that, if Earth may at one point intersect with an asteroid, all these spacecraft shall descend upon it like bullets and either destroy it or deter it from its course.
Trouble on the horizon
Scientists have calculated that the Bean asteroid in very likely to land on Earth sometime during 2135. If needed, these plans should be put into action sometime soon so that Earth is going to be prepared by then if something were to happen.
NASA has already sent out a spacecraft in 2016 whose mission is to land on Bean and collect some rock samples and bring them back for analysis. The OSIRIS-Rex, the ship that was sent out is a very pricy one, costing around 800 million dollars.
It remains to be seen if the plan is going to be implemented any time soon