The big asteroid is careening towards Earth and NASA is scrambling for a solution to save the planet, along with the help of a few of Hollywood’s biggest actors, we’ve all seen the movie. But truth is sometimes stranger than fiction as the European Space Agency in conjunction with NASA is working now to ensure that this scenario never becomes a reality.

Ian Carnelli, Programme Manager at the European Space Agency (ESA) discusses the current research and the Asteroid Impact Mission. Asteroid deflection in regard to planetary defense is, as you’d imagine, a complex area of study; however, it is crucial research considering the fact that an asteroid’s impact on Earth could be up to a thousand times the Hiroshima bomb. ESA’s manager provides a detailed overview of the study of asteroid impact that takes into account speed and asteroid composition. And we’ll learn the importance of an inch, as Ian Carnelli explains how a small push of an asteroid that deviates its velocity as little as a quarter of an inch per second can change its orbit in a significant way.

Listen in as Mr. Carnelli expounds upon the reasons why collecting real space data; impacting asteroid moons; along with studying craters, their shape, depth and size is important to calibrate models to simulate impacts. And he’ll discuss the Rosetta mission and its contact with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and how it supplied important data to further research into the flight of a spacecraft near low-gravity environments.

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