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Chinese researchers plan on fighting asteroid apocalypse with rockets

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Chinese researchers want to send more than 20 of the country’s largest rockets to practise deflecting asteroids away from earth

A group of Chinese researchers want to send rockets into space to practise deflecting asteroids. The researchers say the technique may become crucial in the future if an asteroid ever goes on a collision course towards earth.

China isn’t the first country to trial using rockets to prevent asteroids from plummeting into earth. The US’ NASA also plans to launch a robotic spacecraft to intercept two asteroids late this year.

Our first attempt at changing the trajectory of a celestial body

The rocket will take about a year to crash-land on the asteroids. The aim is to see how much the asteroids’ trajectory changes.

Researchers at China’s National Space Science Center found that launching enough rockets at a large asteroid could alter its path. To be exact, 23 rockets could deflect a large asteroid from its original path by a distance 1.4 times the Earth’s radius.

Field view of Bennu’s surface from a NASA spacecraft. Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Asteroids larger than 1km would have global consequences

Their calculations are based on a huge asteroid orbiting the sun called Bennu. Scientists have classified Bennu as being large enough to cause ‘regional or continental damage‘.

Current estimates show there is roughly a 1% chance a 100-metre-wide asteroid would strike Earth in the next 100 years, said Professor Gareth Collins at Imperial College London.

“Something the size of Bennu colliding is about 10 times less likely,” Collins said.

The ‘Bennu’ asteroid.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Future Airplane Design

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What will the next generation of aircraft look like?

 
From the dawn of time, man has dreamed of flying.

Now, more than 100 years since the first flight, airlines and aircraft manufacturers are trying to work out the future of flight.

This Ticker Original takes you behind the scenes as designers look to the future of flight. #aviation #boeing #aircraft

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World’s Tallest Buildings

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From Dubai to New York, these are the world’s tallest buildings.

 
Look up, and see the future.

This Ticker Original goes in depth into the world of super construction.

Across continents and across the decades, this is how engineers and builders pushed the limits of design to reach even higher.

This Ticker Original explores how it happened. #towers #skyscrapers #tall buildings

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A.I. to be used to detect fires in Colorado

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A Colorado Senate committee has voted to use A.I. to detect blazes before they burn out of control

 
The $2 million pilot program would involve putting cameras on mountaintops, and using the technology to detect the early signs of a wildfire.

The deployment of A.I. is part of an ongoing effort by firefighters, to use new tech to become smarter about how they prepare and better position their resources.

Lookout towers once staffed by humans have largely been replaced by cameras in remote areas, many of them in high-definition and armed with artificial intelligence to discern a smoke plume from morning fog.

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