The Armageddon movie script took its inspiration from a plausible scenario confirmed by scientists. The Planet has always been vulnerable to a natural cosmic disaster in the form of asteroids. However, new research shows that this global threat has just extended its means. It now seems that not only massive asteroids can wipe out humanity. Comets also have the capacity to become fatal calamities for planet Earth.
A researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Joseph Nuth, stated that the institutes in charge of searching the skies for possible cosmic threats have been ignoring the presence of comets. The main reason behind this serious omission is that nothing much can be done about them. It is almost impossible to intercept their trajectory due to their icy bodies. However, the researcher identified a solution if the scientific world prepares for it in due time.
The Near-Earth asteroids, also known as NEAs, are sharing many similarities with our planet. They are usually following the same trajectory, and there are rare cases when they leave them. This makes them easier to detect and people have time to prepare for a possible fatal impact. On the other hand, comets are not so predictable. On the contrary, they can appear from nowhere at any given moment and take us by surprise.
In the case of NEAs, scientists can track them long before they reach our atmosphere and issue a space mission. The same happened in the Armageddon movie script. A team of misfits was sent to the asteroid in a spacecraft to detonate it. However, in the case of comets, the world will not have time to prepare such a team and launch it in space in due time. As Joseph Nuth noticed, it would take five years for a spacecraft to be ready.
This is why the researcher is of the opinion that the world should prepare for a possible encounter with a comet before such a threat becomes is detected. Once the comet is visible, there will not be much time left to put a deflection plan in practice. Nuth encouraged scientists to start building two devices, an observer and an interceptor. Once the comet is detected, the observer will be launched first to collect data about the cosmic body. If the comet hits Earth, the interceptor will be used to deflect the comet with nuclear power.
However, the size of this project will probably need several hundred million dollars to create only one of the spacecrafts. This can remain just a movie script scenario until NASA assesses all possibilities and solutions.
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