The ESA’s Don Quijote mission upon impacting an asteroid (Credit: ESA – AOES Medialab).

An article on highlights two new studies for mission to deflect away asteroids in collision course with Earth. A Chinese study proposes using a spacecraft propelled by by solar sails. The other plan is a European Space Agency mission called Don Quijote, which would crash a spacecraft into an asteroid in an attempt to deflect it, while a second spacecraft would orbit the asteroid to measure its behavior.

A possible target is the asteroid known as Apophis, named after the Egyptian god of darkness because of fears that it might crash into Earth. Rsearchers noted that giving Apophis a tiny shove at a key moment in 2029 would help ensure that it would not approach Earth in 2036, the year that it is forecasted to come near.

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About the author

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a content strategy consultant specialized in companies of the space sector. He is founder of Space Safety Magazine, where he held the position of Editor-in-Chief until March 2015. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked in the European Space Agency in the Independent Safety Office, which overviews the utilization of the International Space Station. He previously worked as Software Developer, IT Consultant, and trainer of Java-related technologies. Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in Communication of Science from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.

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