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Five Years to Apophis; Can a New Mission be Ready?

Five Years to Apophis; Can a New Mission be Ready?

Apophis is an asteroid that needs little introduction. Some asteroids may be familiar even to laypersons, such as Bennu, Ryugu, and Didymos; these asteroids have been visited by spacecraft relatively recently and are well-studied. Apophis however, is not well known because of a mission set to visit it, but because Apophis is set to visit us. On April 13th, 2029 Apophis will flyby the Earth and come within 20,000 miles of our home planet, far closer than our Moon and even closer than some satellites. However today the planetary science community has a strong interest in flipping the script; a desire to have humanity be the one to reach out first, by sending a spacecraft to Apophis before the asteroid’s encounter with Earth.

Published by Space Scout on 03/25/2024

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