Russian Scientists Plan To Use Missiles To Shoot Down Approaching Asteroids

Published February 16, 2016
Updated January 24, 2018
Russia Missiles Asteroids Hitting Earth

Russian missiles, similar to the Topol-M missile pictured above, may soon be used to fight against meteorites and asteroids. Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Wikimedia Commons (right)

Russian news agency TASS recently announced that the country’s scientists are developing long-range missiles that will be used to destroy asteroids and meteorites that threaten Earth.

When deployed, these state-of-the-art missiles will travel thousands of miles in just a few hours to obliterate asteroids and meteorites of at least 20-50 meters in size. And this will all come in handy in the not-too-distant future…

The first target of the Russian plan is asteroid Apophis, “which will come dangerously close to the Earth in 2036,” according to lead researcher Sabit Saitgarayev of the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau.

Asteroid Apophis has long been a major concern, as it once set the record for the highest rating on the Torino Scale — used to measure the impact hazard of asteroids, comets, and meteorites — with a four out of ten.

However, Apophis’ brief period of holding that Torino rating was over ten years ago and further study has drastically lowered the concern level. Back in 2013, NASA effectively eliminated the possibility of an impact in 2036, reducing the odds to less than one in a million.

Nevertheless, if the money and governmental go-ahead needed to get things off the ground comes through, these Russian scientists hope to use their missiles to get Apophis’ odds of impact down to absolute zero.

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