NASA Constantly Monitors Asteroid Threats
We’ve all seen the movies about giant asteroids hurtling toward Earth to snuff us all out in an instant. Science fiction films dealing with this usually do a great job of entertaining us and then making us think about what we would do if it really happened. Well, apparently there are always asteroids out there, closer than we think, being monitored by NASA every single day. This is not because there is always a threat to the planet, but mostly to make sure everything is just so up there.
NASA’s recent newsletter stated that at NASA, every day is asteroid day and that from the many missions journeying to asteroids in our solar system, to the efforts to find, track, and monitor near-Earth objects and protect our planet from potential impact hazards, they are always looking to the skies.
Check out NASA’s YouTube Video on International Asteroid Day:
NASA says that over the next few years, they will be launching several, what they are referring to as “ambitious missions” to study some unique asteroids that are out there.
Upcoming missions include:
The Lucy mission. It's the first Mission to the Trojan Asteroids, primitive bodies hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will launch in October and November 2021, respectively. DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid.
The Psyche mission follows closely with a 2022 launch date. The mission is a journey to a unique metal asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.
OSIRIS-REx began its journey back to Earth in 2021 and will return in 2023 with its asteroid sample in tow.
You can learn more about NASA's Asteroid Missions HERE.