British astronaut to save world from asteroidPublished On: Fri, Sep 28th, 2012 | Astronomy and Space | By IANS
A British astronaut will be part of a team to fly to space to investigate a cosmic rock, and if the asteroid is found to be on collision course for Earth, he would be the one to deflect it.
Major Tim Peake is part of a NASA team due to fly by the mid-2020s, The Sun reported.
He and three colleagues from the Extreme Environment Missions Operations could be flown to deflect the asteroid.
“Earth has close calls all the time. The work we are doing is without a doubt going to help prevent a catastrophic collision with one of them,” Peake, a 40-year-old former Army Air Corps officer, was quoted as saying.
In February, a 45-metre-wide rock got closer than the artificial satellites around the earth, and in November 2011, a 360-metre-wide one came between earth and the moon.
The team has spent 12 days simulating weightless conditions in a deep sea research station off Florida, US.
The team’s main aim is to travel to an asteroid in a shuttle, spend up to 30 days on a smaller spacecraft so that they can take samples from it and place sensors.