(ORDO NEWS) — In seven years, a huge asteroid with a diameter of more than 340 meters will approach the planet Earth.
This object, named Apophis, is expected to fly by about 37,000 kilometers from Earth on April 13, 2029. It is believed that asteroids of this size fly past our planet approximately once every thousand years.
NASA decided not to miss the opportunity, because the proximity of Apophis provides a rare opportunity to visit and study the asteroid.
The agency said that the space probe of the PDM Apophis 2029 mission should meet the asteroid several months before it approaches Earth. The project preparation report will be presented at the upcoming briefing on April 19, 2022.
The main goal of PDM Apophis 2029 will be to assess the potential risk of approaching a space object, determine the properties of its rocks, the chemical compounds of which they are composed, and make the necessary measurements of the asteroid.
According to astronomers, Apophis does not pose a threat of collision with the Earth. However, there are suggestions that the close passage of an asteroid near our planet in 2029 may affect its trajectory and lead to its reappearance. That is, the asteroid can make another flyby near the Earth in 2060 or 2068.
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