After the asteroid 2006 QQ23 has recently passed by Earth, we are waiting for 2019 OU1 to make its approach, coming within just 639,000 miles of our planet on August 28. NASA data shows that the asteroid’s diameter is somewhere between 233ft to 524ft, and it travels with eight miles per second.
2019 OU1 is a “Potential Hazardous” Asteroid
The asteroid is going to safely pass by Earth, but it is listed as a “potentially hazardous” space rock because of its speed and small distance from Earth.
NASA has recently published a report of asteroids and comets that are supposed to come within 30 million miles of our planet. The NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson stated that this project would “greatly increase our nation’s readiness and work with international partners to effectively respond should a new potential asteroid impact be detected.”
In an effort to defend the planet from incoming asteroids that would crash into our planet, NASA is collaborating with SpaceX (the company received $69million) to help develop the project DART – Double Asteroid Redirection Test. DART should deflect the asteroids away from their target.
Protecting the Only Planet We Know Right Now to Host Life
In an interview about DART, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine stated:
“We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about movies. This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life, and that is the planet Earth.”
Unfortunately, there are thousands of asteroids that pass very close to our planet, and Asteroid Bennu is one of them. It is said that there is a one in 24,000 risk in the next 120 years that Asteroid Bennu could crash into Earth. Currently, NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex is stationed on the 500 meters long space rock, and it is collecting samples for the space agency.
Stephen D. James is a Senior Politics Reporter at Debate Report covering provincial and national politics, . Before joining Debate Report, Jeff worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Stephen has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.