NASA reveals ‘hammer’ plan to prevent an asteroid from killing humanity

(Credit: iStock)

Terrified of an asteroid hitting the Earth and wiping us all out? Fret not: NASA has a plan.

AMERICAN space scientists have drawn up official plans for how to deal with incoming asteroids that could destroy our planet.

It is a spaceship called the HAMMER, and stands for Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for the emergency response.

It was developed by top experts, including Nasa, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and two Energy Department weapons labs, according to Buzzfeed.

The spacecraft has two ways of sending an asteroid collision threat.

The first relates to the hit of the asteroid, and then send off-course, so as not to touch the Earth.

The second – and more dangerous – would see the HAMMER hitting the on-board nuclear warhead to alter the asteroid’s course.

“If the asteroid is small enough, and we discover it early enough, we can do it with the impactor,” said physicist David Dearborn.

“The impactor is not as flexible as the nuclear option if we really want to change the speed of the body in a hurry.”

That can be useful in 2035, when scientists say that there is a 1 in 2,700 chance the Bennu asteroid will hit us.

The space boulder is currently circling the sun at more than 63,000 km / h and has a very small chance of free fall to the Earth.

But unfortunately, NASA’s new plans does not necessarily mean that the HAMMER spacecraft will ever be built.

There is also no cost estimate for the HAMMER yet, which makes the planning even more weak.

Scientists plan to the asteroid-blasting system at a conference for asteroid experts in Japan this May.

If that goes well, it is much more likely that we will see the HAMMER become a reality.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

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