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Asteroid to smack into Earth in 2135? NASA says no need to worry

Though chances are there that a lot of living things on the planet might be destroyed due to this but forward-thinking astrophysicists have a plan to deal with this.

Written by: India TV News Desk, London [ Updated: March 20, 2018 14:04 IST ]
Image credit: NASA
Image credit: NASA

If scientists are to be believed, there are small chances that an asteroid will smack into Earth in 2135, The Washington Post reported.

Though chances are there that a lot of living things on the planet might be destroyed due to this but forward-thinking astrophysicists have a plan to deal with this.

According to an IANS report, in order to deal with potential asteroid impact, NASA has drawn up plans to build a huge nuclear spacecraft that is capable of shunting or blowing up dangerous space rocks and safeguarding life on Earth.

The 1,600-foot-wide asteroid Bennu is circling the sun at 63,000 mph. It is now at a comfortable 54 million miles from Earth.

The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock, if it happens to hit Earth, The Telegraph reported.

Although there is little risk it could hit the Earth, it is still considered as an NEO, or Near Earth Object, which would hit the planet with 1,450 megatons of TNT, the report said.

Bennu's impact would release "three times more energy than all nuclear weapons detonated throughout history", said Dante Lauretta, professor at the University of Arizona. 

"The impact would release energy equivalent to 1,450 megatons of TNT," Lauretta said.

However, the study showed that Earth would need years of warning to be able to put a deterrent plan in action.

Earth is hit by asteroids with surprising regularity but most are too small to do much damage or fall in unpopulated areas. 

- With agency inputs

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