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Armageddon: Movie Hit Turns Reality for European Space Agency

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Mission Don Quijote: Blow up huge asteroid hurtling toward Earth and see if it will change course.

Sounds just like the movie Armageddon, right? In fact it has the same plot line just not the famous faces or the stuntmen. Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler won’t be major cast members of the European Space Agency’s plot. Instead the main players will potentionally be 99942 Apophis, a 1600ft-wide asteroid, Hildalgo, a 500kg impact craft, and Sancho, an orbitor that will analyze data from the impact.

According to the Daily Mail, the European Space Agency is planning the real version of Armageddon for 2015 when Mission: Don Quijote, “will see a satelllite fired at break-neck speed into a ‘test’ asteroid to see if its course changes.”

99942 Apophis, the 1600ft-wide asteriod, has a one in 250,000 chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, according to experts. If a big asteroid were to make contact, or in more accurate terms, hurtle its fiery wrath at us, it could and probably would wipe out life on Earth. The plan for the EU Space Agency is to send up Hildalgo and have it collide with Apophis at a speed of around six miles a second. Sancho will cruise around the area scanning the collision and monitoring whether the asteriod changes direction.

“ESA’s Don Quijote is an asteroid deflection precursor mission concept, designed to assess and validate the technology that one day could be used to deflect an asteroid threatening the Earth…,” says the neo space mission preparation for the European Space Agency.

What do you think about the ESA’s Don Quijote mission?

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