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Russia Considering Mission to Deflect Apophis

Russia's Federal Space Agency may try to deflect Apophis, the 880-megaton asteroid that can bring hell to Earth (for comparison, the total power of the entire deployed US nuclear arsenal is around 1,400 Megatons). There's only one problem.

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The possibility of Apophis hitting our home planet problem is extremely remote. When it passed by in 2004, the probability was 2.7%. The next flyby will happen in 2029. Predictions say that there will be no possibility of impact at that time. In 2036, the latest simulations models point out that the probability will 1 in 250,000. Extremely low, but still higher than the odds of being hit by lightning. Furthermore, NASA says that Apophis is not large enough to create a global catastrophe.

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Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian's Federal Space Agency, disagrees. He says that a "scientist recently told him" that Apophis may hit Earth in 2032. If that happens, there's a big chance of it hitting Russia, as most of the south of the country is right on the path of impact risk. The mission, according to Perminov, would not use nuclear weapons, just the laws of physics.

I don't know who is right here, but I have mixed feelings. On one side, if the Russians make any mistakes, they may cause a cosmic clusterfuck. On the other, I'm happy that someone is doing something about this. While there is no official announcement about what the project would be, it's nice to see that someone considering building an space interceptor. [Space, Nuclear Stockpile, Wikipedia]

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DISCUSSION

I don't think they meant deflecting it so it doesn't hit Earth, I think they meant deflecting it so it hits somewhere other than Russia instead. The US better get their own counter deflection project going. The fate of the planet will be decided by a game of space pong.