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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finding Ways to ward Meteor Strikes

Within the last century, Russia has been hit by a meteor twice, namely at Tunguska in 1908 and in the city of Chelyabinsk in Friday / February 15, 2013, giving its own record. In modern history, there has never been an extraterrestrial object that fell to the Earth's surface and cause casualties to 1,200 people, as happened in Chelyabinsk. This phenomenon makes the Russian government should think of ways to counter space rocks fall into their territory.
Chelyabinsk meteor trace on February 15, 2013. (Pictures from: http://www.popsci.com/)
Although scientists can predict the phenomenon of meteor crashed in an area just happens once in a lifetime, yet many Russians worry about events like the meteor attack in Chelyabinsk will happen again. "We must create system to detect objects that threaten the earth and neutralize them," says Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry.
Workers repair damage caused after a meteor passed above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk Friday. More than 500 people were injured when the meteor shot across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday. (Pictures from: http://www.ibtimes.com/)
He said none of the countries that could destroy the meteor as it fell in Russia last week. Even countries with advanced nuclear missile facilities though, such as the United States and Russia, will not be able to shoot down meteors. "President Vladimir Putin pooped hands up, saying no country can protect itself from meteor attack," Rogozin statement delivered via Twitter.
Russian police work near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteorite seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013. (Pictures from: http://www.reuters.com/)
But that does not mean there is no hope for Russia. The way out remains open, the scientists say it's time for more observing celestial objects that came to earth. "People should be prepared to counter the threat of attack from space rocks," Rogozin said. In Monday / February 18, 2013, the scientific conference took place in Vienna, Austria, in order to formulate the most powerful way warding off asteroids and meteors. The NEO Consortium, funded by the European Union, presented a number of ideas.

Looking for ways to counteract the meteor is not easy. But astronomers the United States and Europe have some ideas that at first sight ever seen from a science fiction story. Like creating machine "kinetic impactor" to catapult large spacecraft into the asteroid was flying toward earth. The plane crashed into the asteroid with the aim of changing its course.

The consortium is also reviewing the use of "gravity tractor", ie by large spacecraft parked near the floating space rocks into Earth's atmosphere. Driving engine plane that will lead away from Earth space rocks using gravity as a tow rope cosmic weak. "Blowing up a nuclear bomb on or near the asteroid to be the preferred method of last resort," said the consortium representative, told Reuters.

The United Nations special team of that deals with near-Earth objects (NEO) proposed the formation of International Asteroid Warning Network. This team is a global network that focuses on space mission to deal with the threat and disasters impact of strike celestial body.

The conference focuses not only on how to ward off strikes of celestial body. U.S. Space Agency (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) warns that people should prepare for the inevitable impact of the meteor and asteroid attacks. "There should be a massive evacuation procedures," they said.

Detlef Koschny, Space Situational Awareness researchers from ESA, said that currently there are technologies that could estimate the location of space rocks falling. "Just a few hours notice before," he said. He cited a celestial body that struck the desert in Sudan, Africa, in 2008. The arrival of a celestial body is detected just 20 hours before crashing in the desert. *** [REUTERS | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 4147 | KORAN TEMPO 4149]
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