Besides Apophis, which is dangerous to get close to the Earth in 2036, our planet is threatened by two large asteroid. Scientists have calculated that they could hit the Earth in the next few decades. "As in this case can happen with the Earth, there is no need to explain: the catastrophe of global proportions" — said in an interview to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" President of Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia" Vitaly Lopota.
Noting that the probability of such a collision is small, it nevertheless believes that it will take to change the trajectory of the asteroid. Need boosters capacity of 70 tons, to render on a trajectory to intercept the spacecraft, which will have the necessary resources and energy reserves, said the scientist.
He also suggested that, for this purpose, can be used with the nuclear space tug or a solar power plant that will be able to help electrojet engines deliver an asteroid appropriate means and power that can change its orbit. Most likely, it will be a thermonuclear charge added Lopota.
Launch vehicle with a load capacity up to 75 tons and can be useful for solving the problems of development of deep space. This can be done in 3-5 years class engines RD-171 production "Energomash", said President of RSC "Energia". These engines with a thrust of up to 800 tons called the "king-engines," such is not no country except Russia, and now they are only used in a unique project "Sea Launch" launch missiles with floating cosmodrome, he said.
"These are the engines in the coming decades may determine the competitiveness of our launch vehicles. In order not to lose the technology they need to make at least 6-8 per year. If the company "Sea Launch" bankrupt, ceased operations, all competitors in rocket and engine would be happy to have disappeared from the market outlook for the country ", — said Vitaly Lopota.
Modern space exploration scenarios have one goal
Talking of possible scenarios of space exploration, the researchers said that today the national space agencies are considered two, and the goal of both — Mars. "In the first stage, in the first scenario — the moon without landing on it (with the development of lunar orbit and testing of technologies for efficient travel) and then — asteroids," — said the head of the RAC. "In the first stage, another scenario — asteroids, and then the moon. That is, the scenario: "The Earth — Moon — asteroids — Mars," "Earth — asteroids — Moon — Mars" — he explained.
In late August, Vitaly Lopota lamented that the once leading space power Russia finally became uncompetitive and backward country, but expressed the hope that she can at least partially restore the former success of active participation in international Mars exploration. This planet will be the main goal of humanity in space in the next half-century, since the solar system is only suitable for possible colonization, he said then.
Recall now successfully on Mars on a mission American automatic probe Curiosity, commits a curious discovery. It was launched from Earth in November last year and landed on Mars on August 6.
Russia also tried twice to send planetary rovers to Mars in the early 1970s, and both attempts failed, one machine crashed during landing, the other is out of order for a moment before landing on the surface. And in January 2012, ended in failure attempt to launch a satellite to Mars station "Phobos-Grunt".
The threat of asteroids and "drawing Ray"
As for Apophis, the probability of collision with the Earth say that the first year, then, scientists project that in 2029 it will approach the Earth closer to the Moon, and in 2036, may well not run into her. Thus the total energy of explosion is comparable to the detonation of all existing nuclear weapons in humanity. Likelihood of this scenario, scientists estimate as 1:250,000.
Employees of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California have discovered the asteroid in 2004, stunned earthlings apocalyptic predictions just before the Western Christian Christmas.
However, researcher at the Institute of Astronomy Victor Shore, speaking at the International Aerospace Congress in Moscow in August 2012, said that most likely, Apophis will fly past Earth. He explained that the calculation of the orbit of a celestial body has not been considered non-gravitational acceleration — the so-called Yarkovsky effect. It can be described as "drawing Ray", capable to bend the trajectory of the asteroid. Because of him, to calculate their orbits extremely difficult, and if some of the potentially hazardous asteroids might, due to this effect, to deviate further from the Earth, while others may suddenly become a threat.