Hefty Asteroid 2011 AG5's Threat to Earth Should Be Studied More, Scientists Say
by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 12 March 2012 Time: 05:47 PM ET
An artist's illustration of asteroids, or near-Earth
objects, that highlight the need for a complete Space Situational
CREDIT: ESA - P.Carril
A massive asteroid that may be on a collision course with Earth should be studied in more detail, according to a former Apollo astronaut who specializes in monitoring potentially hazardous space rocks.
Asteroid 2011 AG5 has been the object of attention because scientists say it may swing close to our planet in the year 2040.
The big space rock is on NASA’s impact hazards list, but more definitive tracking of the object is still needed, scientists say. In fact, some near-Earth object (NEO) experts say it’s time to start hammering out a plan in case the asteroid needs to be deflected.
Former Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart is calling upon NASA to undertake a detailed engineering and mission planning analysis of 2011 AG5.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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