Asteroid researchers from NASA and ESA have recently teamed up on an ambitious double-spacecraft mission to deflect an asteroid in space. There are 878 asteroids in ESA's "risk list", with space agency warning that even small asteroid impacts could cause "serious destruction to inhabited areas". On Tuesday, ESA wrote on its website: "According to recent ESA estimates, there are 878 asteroids in the 'risk list'.
" This ESA catalog brings together all asteroids we know of that have a 'non-zero' chance impact of Earth in the next 100 years – meaning that impact, however unlikely, cannot be ruled out.
“An impact by even a small asteroid could cause serious destruction to inhabited areas.
“ This is why ESA, together with international partners, is taking action to search for asteroids, develop technology that could deflect them in the future and collaborate at the international level to support mitigation measures.
“The flurry of upcoming meetings will cover vital topics in planetary defense, including the planned, first-ever test of asteroid deflection, coordination and communication of asteroid warnings and how to ensure the most effective emergency response on the ground.
READ MORE: Asteroid news: NASA partners with ESA to stop giant asteroids
“With all the work being done, the planet has never been prepared for the unlikely but very real threat of an asteroid impact.”
The ESA has invested £ 21
Studies such as Hera will help the ESA better understand how
ESA stated: "The ESA / NASA" AIDA "collaboration (for Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment) will see NASA's DART spacecraft crash into and deflect the 160-m asteroid Didymos-B ( Also known as Didymoon, the smaller of the Didymos dual asteroid system).
However, there are some plans on the go that could help Earth against potential asteroid strikes.
NASA is currently studying Asteroid Bennu, where its OSIRIS- Rex spacecraft arriv ed last year.
Part of the reason NASA is sending the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft there is to gather more information about space rock that is 500 meters in length.
NASA fears that the asteroid that has the potential to wipe out a country on Earth, could hit our planet within the next 120 years, with the next close flyby in 2135.
The mission will provide vital information on how to deflect asteroids from their collision course with Earth.
But NASA reiterates that while there is a small chance Earth could be impacted, "over millions of years, of all the planets, Bennu is most likely to hit Venus."