In addition to the asteroid Apophis threat to Earth are still two large asteroids in orbits that may have to change to avoid a collision, the President of Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia" Vitaly Lopota.
"In addition to the famous Apophis, there are two large asteroids whose orbits cross Earth's orbit, and which in the next few decades, according to scientists, there is, though extremely small, the probability of a collision. In this case can happen to the Earth, there is no need to explain: a disaster of global proportions, "- he said in an interview published in" Rossiyskaya Gazeta "on Friday.
To prevent the threat, we need a booster carrying capacity of about 70 tons, which will lead to the trajectory intercept an asteroid spacecraft that can change its trajectory, said V.Lopota.
"We can assume that will be used space tugs with a nuclear or solar power plant that will be able to help electric rocket engines deliver to the asteroid corresponding to the means and power that can change its orbit. Most likely, it will be a thermonuclear charge "- he said.
Launch vehicle with a load capacity of about 70 tons, and can be useful for solving problems of a purely peaceful exploration of deep space. "For example, launch vehicles with a load capacity of 65-75 tons for the development of deep space can be made to the class engines RD-171 for 3-5 years", — he said.
Now, these engines are used in missiles "Zenit-3SL», which is used for projects "Sea Launch" and "Land Launch".
"It's RD-171 production" Energomash ". We call them "king-engines." It is these engines in the coming decades may determine the competitiveness of our launch vehicles. Similar engines do not have no country, "said V.Lopota.