An asteroid impact has the potential to produce a mass extinction event (Image: NASA/Don Davis)
Artist's concept of a space probe impact on an asteroid, with another probe observing (Image: ESA)
There are hundreds of near-Earth asteroids hurtling through space that are a potential danger to our planet. One way of dealing with the problem is to deflect them with a space probe deliberately set on a collision course. To see how effective such a collision would be, Frank Schäfer of the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI in Freiburg, Germany is looking at what asteroids are made of and how this affects a deflection impact.
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