Russian space probe may save Earth from asteroid
Friday, June 27, 2008
MOSCOW,June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian experts have said a space missionshould be sent in 2012 to the Apophis asteroid to establish whether itwill collide with Earth, adding that the Russian Phobos-Gruntspacecraft could be used for that purpose.
A report at a Moscowscientific conference said 99942 Apophis, or Asteroid 2004 MN4, with adiameter of 350m, is the biggest space threat to Earth.
In 2029,this near-Earth object will be at a distance of only 36,000 km (22,400miles) - closer than satellites in geostationary orbit. Earth's gravitycould change the orbit of Apophis in such a way that it would collidewith Earth on its next approach in 2036.
2012, how interesting!