Wednesday, 05 May 2021 | 10:47 WIB
Asteroid 2021PDC. [Earthsky.org]
KlikBabel.com – An asteroid named 2021PDC is said to hit Earth in October 2021.
However, the asteroid is a fictitious or unreal space rock, created by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Not without reason, ESA and NASA are conducting joint exercises in the form of simulations of what if there is a dangerous asteroid that will collide with Earth in the future.
The asteroid impact drill was developed by International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) for the program Planetary Defense Conference (PDC), which runs from April 26-30 in Austria.
The name of the asteroid itself is taken from the name of the program, namely PDC.
Reporting from Earth Sky, Wednesday (5/5/2021), this is the seventh practice of the conference which is held every two years.
Scientists, space agencies and civil protection organizations do not use real asteroids for this exercise, but they do mention 2021PDC (Planetary Defence Conference held 2021).
During the training period, international experts will pretend that this fictional asteroid is going to hit Earth and they practice, should an asteroid crash occur.
This simulation of an asteroid impact has a fictional scenario, where 2021PDC was discovered on April 19, 2021 and NASA and ESA’s asteroid monitoring system, identified the date this rock could potentially hit Earth.
The two space agencies agreed that the date of a potential collision would be October 20, 2021, only six months away.
The likelihood of a collision is low, about one chance in 2500.
In that scenario, the experts don’t know about the physical properties of 2021PDC.
The team predicts the average size of this asteroid is around 120 meters. But because the actual reflectivity is unknown, the sizes can range from 35 meters to 700 meters.
Once the experts know a little information about the asteroid, the team will discuss what actions can be taken to deflect or destroy the potentially dangerous object.
In a recent statement, NASA said there was not enough time to deflect the asteroid, either using a spacecraft or a nuclear bomb to destroy it.
The reason is, the asteroid discovery scenario is only six months old and there are limitations to current technology.
Fortunately, 2021PDC is just a fictional asteroid created for the training of experts how to overcome the threat of an asteroid that could hit Earth in the future.