NASA launches new mission to intercept ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid which might collide with Earth; All about it – Times of India

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NASA recently relaunched a mission to study the ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid as it has started coming closer to the orbit of Earth. A spacecraft recently made its return from deep space, was sent by NASA to carry out three studies releasing the information of the soon-to-be collision. NASA’s spacecraft OSIRIS-REx which has been renamed as OSIRIS-APEX was sent off to study the extremely close flyby of asteroid Apophis, which in 2029 might scratch the earth. However, this phenomenon has never happened since the dawn of recorded history.
The spacecraft thus came back to Earth in September and collected the samples from space rock Bennu for seven years. The asteroid Apophis which is also called as the ‘God of Chaos’ is likely to fly close to Earth on April 13, 2029 and will be located only 20,000 miles away which is closer in comparison to a few man made satellites and also will be visible from the Eastern Hemisphere.

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The space rock which measures around 370 yards across, approaches the Earth every 7,500 years. Because of this situation, the gravity of the Earth will affect the space rock as it comes close to the orbit and OSIRIS-APEX will soon understand the aftermath, to witness how it will further change the surface of the Earth.

Earth to witness a change

Earth will witness the length of the asteroid’s day which at present is around 30.6 hours per day. It can also lead to landslides and earthquakes. There might be change in the tidal forces and the accumulation of rubble pile material are the foundational processes that can play a major role in the process. On April 13, 2029, the spacecraft will also meet the S-type asteroid but will not land on its surface, but will operate in proximity to it for the next 18 months.

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NASA thus said that the spacecraft would not only look to observe the surface changes but will also map the surface and analyze the chemical composition and makeup of the rock. The spacecraft will also go within 16 feet of the surface of the rock with the thrusters to be fired downwards to see what has stirred it up and then provide a peek of the material which will lie below.

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However, the rock is still five years away from the Earth, NASA scientists are keenly keeping a track of it as it reaches its first six close passes with the giant star, the sun.

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