2030 seems to be the year in which the unthinkable could actually happen…an asteroid approaches a strike orbit on Earth. An event which makes the notions of racism, xenophobia and competition between East and West sound ludicrous, seems to be a real possibility and not just a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona made the last known calculations on the space object known as 2000 SG344. It was calculated that this object will come closest to Earth on September 23rd, 2030, when it will be 11 Lunar Distances from Earth. These results have been backed up by the University of Pisa, Italy. Its orbit thereafter is still not known and will be very difficult to calculate. Collision on September 16th, 2071 is a possibility (a one in a thousand chance). It is calculated that this object measures between 30 and 70 metres in length and if it impacted, it would produce an explosion “the size of a great nuclear explosion”, according to Donald Yeomans, director of the project NEAR (NASA), whose main objective is to monitor the orbits of space objects which could constitute a danger for Earth. More reason for an increased collaboration between East and West in the new space station and more reason for the USA to abandon its xenophobic SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative) in favour of a more global principle to contribute towards the protection of the planet, together with Russia, the European Space Agency and Japan instead of a protective umbrella against a nuclear attack which exists only in the figments of Hollywood’s imagination.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey Pravda.Ru Lisbon