Just in case you’re nice and relaxed on this Sunday, reading this with a cup of tea in an early morning breeze, please don’t forget that …. at any given moment an asteroid can hit earth and destroy mankind.
Yes, my friends, it could all end in the blink of an eye, but luckily four us the scientists over at NASA have 4 different plans up their sleeve to make sure that we all survive.
Gravity tractor pull: just in case the many telescopes that we have looking into space would see an object heading for earth on a deadly collision course, one plan of action would be to send a spaceship flying front of it so it can change the gravitational course enough for the object to miss earth by a space inch, which is a few kilometres in earthly figures. This does require a really large spaceship and an object flying at speeds that can be copied.
Kinetic impactor: or in other words, an unstoppable force meets and unmovable object. The same idea as above, you send a really large spaceship to meet the object heading to earth but instead of using it to change its course via gravity, you simple slam it into the asteroid and calculate the corner beforehand to the impact will make it change course.
Laser shooting: yes, indeed, the death star idea. NASA claims that one day in the future, this technology can be reached by man ensuring life on earth would continue.
Nuke it: if none of the above works, then sending a rocket packed with nukes would be the ultimate fail safe according to NASA scientists. Given the probable size and speed of the asteroid this might not destroy it completely but will probably set it of course. The downside to this is that you probably leave space with a lot of nuclear damage depending on the number of nukes you would need to get a result.