Asteroid Collision Avoidance plans
Plans to stop an asteroid from hitting earth
A group of british scientists have made a plan that would stop large asteroids from hitting the earth. The 10 tonne gravity tractor that relies on gravity would deflect any orbiting rocks before it collides with the earth. The tractor would intercept the asteroid from around 50 metres away and exert a small gravitational force on it. This force would cause the asteroid to come closer to the device and make it commence on a another orbit away from the earth
A french researcher has discovered a plan to alter the course of an asteroid called Aphophis which is set to hit earth in 2036. Solar Sails can shift the course of the asteroid by shielding the asteroid from solar radiation. The Yarkovsky effect produces a tiny amount of thrust on the warm side of an asteroid and this happens as the sun emits thermal radiation on the near side. Solar sails will eliminate this effect as they will get in between the sun and the asteroid, altering the orbit of the asteroid.
NASA SOLAR SAIL spaceship animation
Carbon Fiber Mesh
This ideas is similar to the solar sail as they both try to eliminate the Yarkovsky effect. Scientists are also considering this idea to avoid the collision with Aphophis. Scientists are planning on netting the asteroid with carbon fiber mesh. The amount of Solar radiation absorbed will increase as well as the amount of solar radiation emitted by the asteroid.
Painting the asteroid
One method of avoiding an asteroid would be to paint it. Painting the asteroid with a thin coat of paint would change the amount of sunlight reflected by asteroid and will cause the asteroid to miss the earth. The thermal photons that are in the asteroids surface will radiate and push the asteroid. This is called the Yarkovsky affect. The problem with this plan is that the paint will be needed to be applied long before impact, so that the Yarkovsky effect will work.
Deflecting an asteroid, with paintballs
Our plan involves two of the plans that we have mentioned. We will be shooting Carbon mesh fiber and a Solar sail attached to a rocket at the asteroid at 281 degrees. The Carbon fiber mesh and the solar sail will ensure that the asteroid will be shielded from solar radiation and will alter the course of the Asteroid. Our team was considering the use of painting the asteroid but we would need more time when painting the asteroid and we only have an year left.