科學家籲聯國防2036年小行星撞地球

科學家籲聯國防2036年小行星撞地球

(星島) 02月 20日 星期二 01:29PM

請大家記緊圈著這個日子:2036年4月13日。當天,人類將會受到嚴重威脅,因為一顆小行星到時會非常接近地球,可能會在地球的旁邊擦過。 一群太空人、工程人員和科學家公開呼籲聯合國承擔責任,進行一次太空任務,想辦法化解這場危機,拯救全人類。 

據美國傳媒報道,天文學家現正密切監察著那顆名叫「Apophis」的小行星。他們相信,它正面撞擊地球的可能性是4.5萬分之一。 這群太空人、科學家上周末在三藩市出席一個會議, 討論小行星對地球的威脅時, 發出上述警告, 同時討論人類可以採取甚麼方法, 避免大災難發生。

1969年3月有份參與「太陽神九號」任務環繞地球運行的前太空人施韋卡特說:「我們不單只監察『Apophis』。 地球上每一個國家和地區都要面對危險。 我們有必要制訂一套準則,應付這個問題。」

[ 本帖最後由 swana 於 2007-2-20 05:42 PM 編輯 ]

U.N. urged to take action on asteroid threat

2313 HKT, February 19, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said on Saturday.

Astronomers are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

Although the odds of an impact by this particular asteroid are low, a recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover hundreds, if not thousands of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the U.N. in 2009, he said.

The favored approach to dealing with a potentially deadly space rock is to dispatch a spacecraft that would use gravity to alter the asteroid's course so it no longer threatens Earth, said astronaut Ed Lu, a veteran of the international space station.

The so-called Gravity Tractor could maintain a position near the threatening asteroid, exerting a gentle tug that, over time, would deflect the asteroid.

An asteroid the size of Apophis, which is about 460 feet long, would take about 12 days of gravity-tugging, Lu added.  Mission costs are estimated at $300 million.