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Russia Upgrading Missiles to Shoot Asteroids Down

Update Date: Feb 19, 2016 12:15 PM EST

In a recent announcement, Russian scientists say that they want to test their new and improved ballistic missiles against an asteroid called Apophis that is expected to come very close to the Earth in 2036. Even though these missiles are war weapons, the country is working on a design for advanced rockets. The project is yet to receive authorization and the funding, says Pop Herald

According to a report by Daily Mail and TASS, Russian News Agency, the program is capable of destrying the objects that come near Earth and are at least 20-50 meters in size. The plan is to test the effectiveness of the missile against Apophis. The country insists on preparing to shoot down the asteroid even though NASA asures that it does not pose any threat to the planet.

This asteroid was initially discovered in 2004 and is the size of over 3 football fields. As per the earlier calculations, there is a 2.7% chance that the asteroid will hit the earth. However, the more recent calculations have completely eliminated any possibility of an impact. But the Russian scientists still hope to prepare for it, just in case. "Most rockets work on boiling fuel," Sabit Saitgarayev, senior scientist at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, told reporters. "Their fueling begins 10 days before the launch and, therefore, they are unfit for destroying meteorites similar to the Chelyabinsk meteorite in diameter, which are detected several hours before coming close to the Earth. For this purpose, intercontinental ballistic missiles can be used, which requires their upgrade," reports Red Orbit
ICBM's are long range nuclear missiles that have been used by USA and USSR for the most part of cold war. The countries keep these nukes pointed at each other so that they can be launched quickly, if required. The program is expected to take this technology and improve it to be used as an anti-asteroid, reported Universe Today

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