Asteroid Strikes: When Fiction Meets Reality

Asteroid Strikes: When Fiction Meets Reality

Are you worried about an asteroid strike? On Wednesday NASA sent a probe into space on a head-on collision with an asteroid named Dimorphos. The purpose of this historic mission is to see whether a high-speed impact could nudge a near-earth object (asteroid or comet) off course if it was going to hit Earth. This sounds more like a sequel to the movie Armageddon than real life.

Double Asteroid Redirection Test

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, otherwise known as DART, is the first mission to test new technology. Built by John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, its goal is to change the asteroid’s motion slightly in a way that ground-based telescopes can measure it. According to NASA’s administrator Bill Nelson, “DART is turning science fiction into science fact….”

DARTs one-way mission will show that an unmanned spacecraft can navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it using a method of deflection called kinetic impact. The target is Dimorphos, a 160 meters (530 feet) wide moonlet within the Didymos asteroid system. The DART won’t target the asteroid system until September or October 2022 when it comes closer to Earth when it will then slam into the Dimorphos at 6 kilometres (4 miles) per second. Until then, it will circle the sun. You can read NASA’s full report here.

Asteroid belt in space; Asteroid strikes

Created in Canva.

Apophis

Apophis is one of the more hazardous asteroids that could impact Earth. Discovered in 2004, the estimated width is 340 meters (1,100 feet). It was originally due to pass close to earth in 2029, then it moved to 2035 and now it is 2068, although the chance has lessened. In fact, NASA doesn’t expect a significant impact in the next 100 years. That is good news.

Hollow Edge

If you have read my book, Hollow Edge, you know that the setting is the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a military base inside the mountain designed to survive natural disasters, civil disorder, an electromagnetic pulse, nuclear war, or attacks like cyber, chemical, or radiological. Or in my novel, an asteroid. I used Apophis as the basis for my asteroid, Attila.

Hollow Edge picks ups 118 years after the asteroid decimated the planet, but the prequel Edge of Existence tells the story of the impending asteroid attack. It deals with two protagonists, and how they cope with learning the news of Attila. It will be available on Amazon soon, if you are interested in reading it.

Related story: Writing Hollow Edge

Hollow Edge book on a white background

Final Thoughts

It seems like reality is becoming science fiction. I wonder if the early science fiction writers ever thought that some of their ideas would become reality. Are you worried about an asteroid strike? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image by Michael L. Hiraeth from Pixabay