Experts of the Agency modeled the meteorite parameters, which can wipe one of the megacities from the face of the earth, and also opened the veil of secrecy over how many such deadly blocks fly in near-Earth space.
The US government has set NASA a task to track all meteorites, the size of which is more than 140 meters on one side. To do this, US engineers will have to develop and deploy an orbital system for tracking and recording space threats. The US authorities demand that all work be completed before 2020, but NASA officials say it’s unrealistic to meet this deadline.
Before creating such a system, NASA determined what parameters should have a meteorite, capable of destroying a metropolis like New York. As an example, the legendary Tunguska meteorite was taken – the power of the explosion at its fall was about 10-15 megatons. According to experts, in order to destroy a large city, the meteorite should be only about 60-70 meters across, which is half the declared lower “threshold” of the future system.
In the near-earth space there are about 300,000 objects larger than 40 meters, and meteorites larger than 20 meters (such as the Chelyabinsk meteorite) are several million. “Large-caliber” meteorites, which are theoretically capable of destroying the whole continent, near the Earth are no less than 20,000. But NASA experts calm down the inhabitants and say that the Apocalypse should not be expected – the larger the object, the easier it is to notice it and somehow act on it.