La política de la catástrofe cósmica

WASHINGTON, DC – El mundo tendrá que tomar una decisión importante en 2010 sobre si va apoyar la idea que planteó Anatoly Perminov, director de la Agencia Espacial rusa, Roscosmos, de lanzar una misión no tripulada para redirigir un gran asteroide que podría hacer colisión con la Tierra después de 2030.

Con más de 360 metros de diámetro, el asteroide, Apophis, es doce veces más grande que el objeto del espacio, Tunguska, (presumiblemente un meteorito o cometa) que devastó una gran parte de Siberia Oriental hace cien años. Por lo que se puede determinar, ese objeto estalló el 30 de junio de 1908, con el poder de un arma nuclear, arrancando 80 millones de árboles en un área de 2000 kilómetros cuadrados.

De acuerdo con la NASA, si Apophis choca con la Tierra podría liberar más de 100 mil veces la energía liberada por el evento Tunguska. Miles de kilómetros cuadrados podrían vaporizarse con la explosión, pero toda la Tierra sufriría la falta de luz solar y otros efectos del polvo levantado en la atmósfera. Este peligro explica por qué un analista ruso ha llamado a Apophis el “terrorista del espacio.”

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