Besides Apophis threats to Earth are two more large asteroids in orbits that may have to change to avoid a collision, the president said the Rocket and Space Corporation "Energia" Vitaly Lopota.
"In addition to the famous Apophis, there are two large asteroids whose orbits cross Earth's orbit, and that in the next few decades, according to scientists, there is, though extremely small, the probability of a collision. In this case can happen with the Earth, there is no need to explain: the catastrophe of global proportions, "- he said in an interview published in" Rossiyskaya Gazeta ".
To prevent the threat, we need a booster capacity of about 70 tons, which will display the trajectory of the asteroid intercept spacecraft that can change its trajectory, said Lopota.
"We can assume that will use the space tug with a nuclear or solar power plant that will be able to help electrojet engines deliver an asteroid appropriate means and power that can change its orbit. Most likely, it will be a thermonuclear charge, "- he said.
- Scientists have estimated the probability of Apophis asteroid collision with Earth
Launch vehicle with a capacity of about 70 tons, and can be useful for solving problems of a purely peaceful development of outer space. "For example, launch vehicles with a capacity of 65-75 tons for deep space exploration can be done on the engines of the class of RD-171 for 3-5 years," - he said.
Now, these engines are used in rockets "Zenit-3SL», which is used to project the "Sea Launch" and "Land Launch".
"It's RD-171 production" Energomash ". We call them "king-engines". It is these engines in the coming decades may determine the competitiveness of our launch vehicles. Similar engines do not have no country "- said Lopota.
As reported, Apophis was discovered in 2004. According to available data, its diameter - more than 200 meters. Possible crash asteroid will cause huge damage in an area of thousands of square meters. Kilometers. In addition to the 2029 and 2036 years of the asteroid will approach dangerously short distance to the Earth in 2051, 2058, 2066, 2074 and 2089, respectively.