Space agencies have successfully studied asteroids and comets near the planet, but the capture of one of them for further study directly on Earth was still not implemented. A group of Chinese scientists wants to go further in their studies: their ambitious plan does not imply an asteroid seizure, but also its descent to the surface of the Earth to study minerals.
It sounds quite insane at first glance, but researchers from the National Center of Space Sciences of the Chinese Academy say that this is possible. Researcher Lee Minthouse and his team presented the idea at the Technological Conference in Shenzhen. Lee says that the mission can focus on asteroids that crossed the orbit of the Earth. These asteroids are most dangerous in the future.
Asteroids suitable for the project must weigh no more than a few hundred tons. The first step of work is planned to launch robotic probes that could gain on the surface of the celestial body. The next step will be the change in the trajectory and speed of its course (for this, technical solutions used for the taxiing and movement of cosmic aircraft) will be used. The problem is that small objects are often exploded when entering the atmosphere. I will accept, the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which exploded over Russia in 2013. It is she who will be solved with new research.
Delivery of the body of a meteorite to Earth without an explosion requires the use of new solutions. Some of them are on theoretical level. Further research may well make them practical. Prondes will need to deploy a heat shield that could protect the meteorite from damage during descent. The heat shield must have sufficient resistance to slow down the object to 44 km / h. At such a speed, it must land on the ground surface without serious damage.
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