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19 Aug, 2019 10:09

Musk warns Earth has NO ASTEROID DEFENSE following ‘God of Chaos’ news reports

Musk warns Earth has NO ASTEROID DEFENSE following ‘God of Chaos’ news reports

The gigantic Apophis asteroid hurtling towards Earth has sparked a flurry of panicked news reports. Elon Musk is warning that we are completely defenseless against planet-killer asteroids even if this one doesn’t pose a threat.

Musk was responding to a tweet from his friend, podcast host Joe Rogan, who shared a news article about the so-called ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid from the Express, which appears to post a new  doom-’n’-gloom  article  about  this  particular  asteroid every few  weeks.  

“Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense,” the SpaceX founder said.

Roughly the size of four football fields, if the space rock were to hit Earth, it would smash us with the force of 15,000 nuclear weapons detonating simultaneously.


However, Musk rightly cautions that the entire Apophis narrative is a little overblown: during its close flyby in 2029, the asteroid will come within 37,600km (23,363 miles) of our planet, just a tenth of the distance between Earth and the Moon. Scary but not quite apocalyptic.

The Department of Celestial Mechanics at St. Petersburg State University previously warned that the 370-meter-wide asteroid could strike the Earth sometime in 2068. That is, if it somehow manages to pass through a two-meter-wide 'keyhole' area of space during its close flyby of the Earth in 2029 (with odds of roughly one-in-2.3-million). 

While it will travel more than the width of the full Moon within a minute when it screams past Earth on April 13, 2029, the asteroid, named after the Egyptian god of evil and destruction who dwelled in eternal darkness, will more likely provide a magnificent spectacle for stargazers than the doom of all life on Earth. 

Of this would-be harbinger of the apocalypse, NASA says that the “international asteroid research community couldn’t be more excited” about what the agency dubs “an incredible opportunity for science.”

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NASA will, in fact, use the 2029 close flyby as an R&D opportunity to prepare our planetary defenses, about which Musk is so concerned. 

“By observing Apophis during its 2029 flyby, we will gain important scientific knowledge that could one day be used for planetary defense,” said Paul Chodas, director of CNEOS.

In fact, NASA and Musk’s SpaceX are already developing their first mission to redirect an asteroid for the so-called Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which will target the asteroid 65803 Didymos sometime in June 2021 using one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets with $69 million in NASA funding.

NASA does admit, however, that there remains a small chance of it impacting the Earth; somewhere in the region of 1-in-100,000, “many decades from now” though more detailed future calculations are expected to effectively render the asteroid harmless to our planet.

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