Russia knows how to fight with asteroids which can threaten the Earth.
At a conference named “The Week of Space” in Spain, Russian scientists from the Makeev State Rocket Center suggested to destroy asteroids by exploding them.
For this purpose, Russia can offer warheads “Kapkan” (meaning “trap”), which will be delivered to space by rockets “Soyuz-2” and “Rus-M”.
At present, if we talk about natural calamities, people are more worried about tsunamis, earthquakes or floods than about the Earth’s possible collision with an asteroid. However, this collision can have serious consequences. As an example, one can mention the well-known fall of the Tungus meteorite in the Siberian taiga in 1908. Scientists say that its diameter was only 30 meters. However, when it hit the ground, it exploded with the power of 40 or 50 megatons, which can be compared to an explosion of the most powerful hydrogen bomb.
The Director of the Makeev Rocket Center Vladimir Degtyar says:
“There are a lot of asteroids and comets, the orbits of which cross with the Earth’s orbit. The threat of a collision with them is comparatively high. There are two ways to avoid a collision with an asteroid – either to change its orbit or to explode it. For the latter purpose, a rocket of even a small power is enough.”
Since nuclear tests in space are banned, asteroids will be exploded by non-nuclear devices.
As it has already been said, Russia can suggest two carrier rockets to deliver warheads to space – “Soyus-2” and “Rus-M”. “Soyuz-2” is already being produced, and “Rus-M” is only being developed now. “Soyuz” can be used to save the Earth from asteroids with the diameter of up to 300 meters, and “Rus” – from 600 to 700 meter ones.
The Russian project of “anti-asteroid defense” is being developed by Russia’s Academy of Sciences. The Defense Ministry and the companies “Roskosmos” and “Rosatom” are also participating.
Here is Vladimir Degtyar again:
“The Makeev Rocket Center is taking part in a tender that has been announced by the European Commission. Its aim is broader international cooperation to find ways of protecting the Earth from collisions with celestial bodies. The world community realizes that it is a serious problem that must be solved.”
Russia plans to spend the ruble equivalent of about $ 700 mln on this program within 10 years. This won’t seem like a very large sum if we think about the fact that it may really help save our planet from catastrophes.