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Satellite nudged an asteroid slightly – but enough to save Earth

Breaking new ground 9. apr 2023 5 min Professor Uffe Gråe Jørgensen

About 30,000 tonnes of tiny fragments of asteroids and comets collide with Earth every year, but they are usually too small to do any damage. But being hit by an object a few hundred metres in diameter could kill hundreds of thousands of people – and potentially threaten all life on Earth. In autumn 2022, researchers tried for the first time to try to nudge an asteroid off course with a satellite, and now they have published the size of the deflection. The experiment was successful, but we still need a much better overview of what is in outer space to be able to defend ourselves against the threat.

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