Killer Satellites Could Deflect Asteroids that Are in a Collision Course with Earth21st Jul 2021
The Earth faces a potential danger in the form of asteroids that are too close to it. The UN ‘Asteroid Day’ is a reminder of this fact. More than a century ago, an incident took place in Siberia. An asteroid destroyed millions of trees in what is known as the Tunguska event.
It prompted the UN to form the SMPAG (Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group). It brings together nations involved in the space industry to develop better preventive measures.
One of the best solutions reached so far is the concept of killer satellites. There are no rockets that can be sent to space immediately if there’s looming danger. That gives room for a Kinetic Impactor, which is a satellite that behaves like a ram.
The killer satellites get on a collision course with the asteroid. On impact, there’s kinetic energy generated that pushes the asteroid slightly of its course. Just as long as this occurs at a long distance from the Earth, this will save the planet from direct impact.
Repurpose Existing Space Technology into Killer Satellites
The whole idea needs a heavy device. Airbus space experts suggested repurposing telecom satellites rather than building new ones from scratch. Those are big enough for the task and are readily available.
All these satellites need after that are integrating a KD (kinetic deflection) module. This will add a system for propulsion, a navigation system, and a capability to communicate from deep space. Once in line with the asteroid, the collision would cause it to deflect.
The killer satellites will have smaller versions whose sole purpose is to record the mission as it takes place.