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NEOShield set to assess Earth defense

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A new international project is scheduled to be launched to assess the threat posed by asteroids or comets and look for solutions to protect Earth from an impact.

The new European-led NEOShield project will calculate any threat posed by Near Earth Objects (NEO) and figure the best possible way to shield the Earth.

The project initiated by the German space agency’s (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research is planned to set laboratory experiments by using the latest science.

“We’re going to collate all the scientific information with a view to mitigation,” the state-funded BBC quoted project leader Prof. Alan Harris as saying.

“What do you need to know about an asteroid in order to be able to change its course – to deflect it from a catastrophic course with the Earth?”

Scientists and engineers working on the project expect the study period of the NEOShield to end in three and a half years.

Experts have warned that although the NEO threat may seem distant, the geological and observational records have proved it to be real.

Scientific observations indicate that a small-sized object will enter the Earth’s atmosphere every year that will be seen as a fireball in the sky.

A bigger object will impact the Earth about every 2,000 years or so that will cause major local damage.

Every few million years, a kilometer(s)-sized rock turns up that can have dire global effects.


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