Bid to zap asteroids heading for earth.
WORRIED ministers are spending more than pounds 1.6million to find ways to stop asteroids This is a list of numbered minor planets, nearly all of them asteroids, in sequential order.
As of late September 2007 there are 164,612 numbered minor planets, and many more not yet numbered. Most asteroids are ordinary and not particularly noteworthy. destroying the Earth.
It follows recent concern that a mile-long asteroid called 1997 XF11 was heading for the planet.
The Government fears a real-life version of Steven Spielberg's film Deep Impact, released here this month. The movie shows America gripped with panic as an asteroid hurtles to Earth.
Most of the pounds 1.6million will help pay for a European Space Agency European Space Agency (ESA), multinational agency dedicated to the promotion, for exclusively peaceful purposes, of cooperation among European states in space research and technology. survey craft to land on a comet called Wirtanen.
Scientists believe that may give clues on how to destroy an asteroid. They will also monitor thousands of objects swirling round the solar system.
The British National Space Centre The British National Space Centre (or BNSC) is a voluntary partnership between eleven British government departments and agencies and research councils. It was formed in 1985 in order to coordinate UK civil space activities. said: "The risk is small but an asteroid could cause big damage, even climate change."
He said scientists had ruled out zapping them with nuclear weapons.
"That would probably cause more problems than being hit by an asteroid."
Industry Minister John Battle recently admitted: "We do not currently have the technology to deflect a sizeable asteroid."
A FOUR-pound meteorite meteorite, meteor that survives the intense heat of atmospheric friction and reaches the earth's surface. Because of the destructive effects of this friction, only the very largest meteors become meteorites. crashed onto the roof of retired insurance manager David Lee, 57, at his home in Hove Hove (hōv), city (1991 pop. 65,587), East Sussex, SE England. It is a modern residential seaside resort. , near Brighton.