Kazakhstan cannot cope with falling of large meteorites 12 марта 2013, 16:59
- Found a bug?
- Select it and press Ctrl + Enter
Kazakhstan cannot cope with falling of large meteorites
Kazakhstan has no system of early warning about approaching celestial bodies, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan National Space Agency (KazKosmos). The Agency explained that such system is very expensive and the United States are currently the only country that has it.
The authority says that even modern astronomic equipment cannot predict falls of big celestial bodies. Even the best telescopes can see the falling meteorite only 2-3 hours before its collision with the Earth. But the number of such devices in the world is insufficient for constant monitoring of the space.
“In case a big celestial body falls at the territory of Kazakhstan, international measures would be required, as Kazakhstan would be unable to cope with this problem alone. Besides, the fall of the big body at the territory of one of the countries will have a negative effect on all the countries (in terms of climate change and etc.),” KazKosmos said.
According to the authority, all modern developments for countering threats from space have a theoretical nature and are based on early detection of the dangerous object. “The known methods are limited ещ destruction of the dangerous bodies or deorbiting them to avoid collision with the Earth. For example, breaking the celestial body into small pieces with a nuclear missile, changing its path with a nuclear explosion near its surface or near the solar sail, or several other methods,” the authority said.
However, according to KazKosmos, all these measures are good only for the cases when the object is far from the Earth, as none of the existing air defense systems can destroy an asteroid, comet or meteorite during their fall through the atmosphere of the Earth, as they move with the speed of up to 360 thousand km/h.
The authority is annually taking part in the work of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). “One of the current issues of the annual agenda of the COPUOS Scientific-Technical Sub-Commission includes objects approaching the Earth. Member-countries of the COPUOS are working jointly to prevent the global catastrophes using ground and space infrastructure,” KazKosmos reported.
A meteorite fell in Chelyabinsk oblast in Russia on February 15. Over 1 thousand people were injured and several thousands buildings were damaged. According to NASA, the power of the explosion of the Chelyabinsk meteorite made around 500 kilotons, i.e. 30 times more than that of the nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima.
By Dmitriy Khegai