NASA’s Space Telescope – PurposeAccording to NASA’s press release, their infrared space telescope will be of great help to NASA’s planetary defense efforts. The telescope increases their ability to observe and characterize any potentially hazardous asteroids, comets, and even stars within 30 million miles around the Earth’s orbit. The device’s working name is the Near-Earth Object Surveyor, and Mike Kelley, NASA’s project scientist, said that it would be capable of rapidly accelerating the rate at which NASA can discover cosmic hazards that could pose severe threats to Earth. He added that the telescope would have a feature that will discover at least 90% of asteroids that are 140 meters in size within ten years after being launched. Just The News stated that scientists believe that previous asteroid strikes have causes wide-scale destruction, die-outs, and famine among earthbound species. It includes the infamous, enormous asteroid that struck the Earth 66 million years ago believed to be the cause of extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs. Kelly Fast, NASA’s NEO Observations Program’s Program Manager, said in the release that astronomers worldwide use their ground-based optical telescopes every night. They use it to look at new NEOs, identify their size and shape, and confirm that they are not hazardous for the Earth. However, she added that the telescopes could only see NEOs at nighttime. But with the development of NASA’s asteroid hunting space telescope, they can start observing during the daytime as well.
Controlling Possible HazardsThe space is filled with cosmic risks that could threaten life here on Earth. For example, asteroids can easily collide with our world, therefore causing massive destruction to the planet. According to The Jerusalem Post, an asteroid’s potential damage to our world could be catastrophic — maybe even apocalyptic. Being aware of NEOs is extremely important, but having backup plans for potentially averting impacts such as NEOs is also equally needed. Furthermore, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has a Double Asteroid Redirection Test Mission or DART project.
According to NASA’s ideas, the mission is not yet finalized. It will send a rocket to an asteroid to use its speed and impact to prevent it from hitting our planet. Because of the collision, the asteroid’s trajectory will change, according to theories.
In a nutshell, NASA plans to develop a mission that could punch a rocket with enough speed to alter its direction, even by a percent or a fraction.
Written by Fran Sanders