NASA Wants to Focus More on the ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Apophis Asteroid

NASA Wants to Focus More on the ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Apophis Asteroid

Having a diameter that measures 370 meters, the Apophis asteroid made some astronomers worry that it could collide with our planet one day. Studying such space rocks in great detail can only be beneficial for astronomers and science in general.

At this point, there’s no indication that Apophis could ever hit our planet. But still, sending a probe there to extract some data cannot possibly be a bad idea. NASA knows it very well, so there’s no wonder why the space agency has some interesting plans regarding Apophis. 

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will land on Apophis 

NASA made the announcement that it will launch the OSIRIS-REx probe to Apophis in 2029 to study the asteroid for 18 months. 

DellaGiustina from the University of Arizona declared as quotes:

Osiris-APEX will detect Apophis about three weeks before the asteroid’s close encounter with Earth, giving us time to monitor its rotation rate before and after the close encounter,

After that the spacecraft will spend 18 months surveying the asteroid, including going into a close orbit around this small object.

If you were also counting on Apophis to cause the end of the world, we’re here to disappoint you. You’ll have to place your bet on some other asteroid, as Apophis is down for the count on this one. Astronomers assure us that there’s no need to worry about the asteroid hitting Earth in the near future.

Davide Farnocchia from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies of NASA stated for the AP:

A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore, and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years.

He also added:

When I started working with asteroids after college, Apophis was the poster child for hazardous asteroids,
There’s a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list.


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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