Every day, thousands of potentially dangerous asteroids are placed under the close surveillance of several space agencies. But concretely, if we were to one day locate a near-Earth asteroid en route to strike the Earth, we still do not have an action plan to try to avoid a collision, or failing that, to minimize the damage it could cause.
NASA, however, recently approached the European space agency ESA to test a system that could hijack a near-Earth asteroid and avoid a disaster on Earth.
The system will be tested in 2022 and each of the two agencies is currently working on the AIDA (Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment) program for its part. The goal of the project is to have a tool to stop a large asteroid or to divert it from its trajectory.
ESA is thus working on the AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission) project and will target an asteroid 800 meters wide located on the outskirts of a smaller celestial body called Didymoon. The module which will be launched in 2020 by ESA will be responsible for observing the asteroid, then it will be NASA's DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) program which will take over in 2022 and will strike the asteroid at a speed of 22,000 km / h. There, the agencies should note whether the impact can be genuinely oriented to divert the trajectory of the asteroid or if the latter leads to its fragmentation.