The Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) has approved a project to create a system for tracking near-Earth and potentially hazardous space objects. The project was called SODA (system of detection of fluorescent asteroids), and the start of work on it already scheduled for next year.
The system will be able to track celestial bodies with a diameter more than ten meters in four hours before estimated time of entry into the atmosphere. For this task, you will build a satellite, which then sends to one of the Lagrange points — L1, located between Earth and the Sun at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from our planet. It is worth saying that at this point no one of existing ground assets, it is impossible to detect a space object moving towards the Earth from the Sun.
According to one of participants of the project Boris Shustov,
“Optical instruments light up, but radio telescopes are usually designed for review within a few thousand kilometers from Earth. The probability that a body like the Chelyabinsk meteorite will destroy the city, of course, small. But to warn about such events need. Therefore, the expert group on space threats, the task was to propose a means of discovery of the bodies coming from the daytime sky”.
The project SODA will be able to recognize space objects with a diameter greater than 10 meters 4 hours prior to anticipated entry into the earth’s atmosphere. The budget of the project amounts to 10 million rubles. In addition, in the framework of the creation of the satellite system will be computer modeling of the complex SODA. It will take another 2.5 million rubles. The start of the project, scheduled for 2017.