What Can We Do?
A killer asteroid did crash to Earth about 66-million years ago. It landed in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The asteroid landed along the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, which resulted in the Chicxulub Crater. That crater measures over one hundred miles across. Additionally, the asteroid caused the mass extinction of all of the land-based dinosaurs and 75-80% of all other animal species that were alive during the Cretaceous period.
It is not surprising that asteroids will strike the Earth due to our proximity to the asteroid belt. Scientists have determined that we are approximately 2½ times further from the asteroid belt as the Earth is from our sun.
This picture is another means by which one can see the relative closeness of the Earth to the asteroid belt. The Earth's orbit is the third one from the sun in both pictures.
Additionally, we are not only close to the asteroid belt, but some estimate that there might be a trillion asteroids within the asteroid belt. However, look at the red dots. They are the asteroids that have spun away from the asteroid belt and have gotten into the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
The next chart shows the size of the asteroids, places of impact, and whether the impact occurred during the day or night over the past two decades.
In addition, the following video was taken during the day as an asteroid crashed into Chelyabinsk, Siberia. Scientists estimated that the impact was equivalent to thirty Hiroshima atomic bombs. On the same day, another asteroid came within 17,000 miles of impacting the Earth.
Beyond the sheer numbers of asteroids and our proximity to the asteroid belt, another concern within especially the scientific community is that we will not have a great deal of time to respond to a pending disaster. The generally accepted timeline would be just a couple of weeks, which is a very short time to react. In addition, what can be done?
John Remo and Michael Furnish then went to Sandia National Laboratories to explore the nuclear option. Remo and Furnish developed a plan using six rockets sent to an incoming asteroid. Each rocket would blastoff with an hour separating their blastoffs. Each rocket would contain 1.2 megatons nuclear device. Each device would be equal to 100-Hiroshima bombs. However, the explosion would not occur on the asteroid only near to it. If the explosion occurred on the asteroid, the explosion would create a massive fragmentation of the asteroid and possibly still send millions of smaller pieces to the Earth. The nuclear explosion would merely explode near it and cause it to move in a different direction. The explosion of the six devices on an hourly basis would slowly make the needed directional changes.
Even though some scientists are working on how to change the course of an incoming asteroid, it has not been tested for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the global ban of nuclear devices exploding in outer space. If that impediment were resolved and the testing of this concept were successful, that would not resolve that matter. We would need to have at least six rockets with nuclear device ready for launch. Finally, we would need to scan the skies for a possible killer asteroid headed for Earth.