Asteroid to Skim Earth So Close, NASA Testing Planetary Defense System

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TC4: How NASA Plans to Test its Planetary Defense Systems on Close-Approach Asteroid

By Hannah Osborne

NASA is preparing to test out its planetary defense systems on an asteroid that will come extremely close to Earth next week.

Asteroid TC4 will pass us by on October 12 at an estimated distance of 31,000 miles—that’s an eighth of the distance between our planet and the moon, so just a whisker in astronomical terms. About 50 feet wide, the asteroid poses absolutely no threat to Earth. But it presents NASA with an opportunity to practice for a real-life impact event.

Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tells Newsweek what the space agency and other organizations around the globe are doing to perform this exercise—and how they plan to protect Earth from asteroids in the future.

What makes TC4 a good candidate for a planetary defense exercise?

We knew it was coming and we knew it would be approaching very close. That’s the reason we decided a year ago to use this as an exercise for the observing community—the whole process of what we would do if an asteroid were on a collision course with Earth.

Asteroids pass by Earth almost daily. But most of them are very small. Sometimes we have big ones but they don’t pass this close. It’s fairly rare to find an asteroid coming this close five years ahead of time. We knew it was coming so we could prepare our exercise months ahead. We didn’t know exactly how close, but knew it was likely to be within one lunar distance. It was a perfect example.

How is NASA preparing for the flyby?

Animation depicts the safe flyby of asteroid called 2012 TC4. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our primary assignment is to track the orbit of the asteroid. We’ve being doing that since early August when the first detection was made. Once TC4 was recovered we could refine its orbit fairly precisely and we’re continuing to refine it daily. [It will come] about 50,100 kilometers [31,000 miles] from the center of the Earth. Our accuracy is down to plus or minus 15 kilometers [nine miles], so very accurate. It’s less than four Earth diameters away from the surface—that’s very close.

A network of astronomers will be tracking TC4. You want to know early on the composition and the size. We have a rough idea of its size from its brightness in optical wavelengths but we have to make an assumption on its reflectivity. Dark asteroids are known to have low densities, and bright asteroids are known to have rockier, higher densities.

We would measure all this if an asteroid were headed toward Earth because we would want to know the size; we would want to know the mass especially. That would tell us the energy that would be deposited when the asteroid entered the atmosphere.

What would happen if a small asteroid like TC4 was actually going to hit Earth?

We at the CNEOS work on the trajectory and we’d be able to tell where the asteroid was going to hit. There would be uncertainty on that so we would develop a risk corridor—a line where the asteroid’s orbit slices through Earth. We know it’s on the orbit, but we don’t know exactly where [it would hit].

We have run several exercises where we simulated an asteroid hitting Earth. We try to predict where it will hit, which improves as we take more and more observations. It’s a question of refining the position from a corridor down to a footprint of maybe 1,000 kilometers [620 miles], then maybe a few hundred miles. For TC4, we have just tens of miles of uncertainty and we’re still more than a week away.

This is exactly what we would do if there were a real case. I would add that this is being used as an exercise for an asteroid impact up through government as well. So NASA headquarters is communicating upwards to the U.S. Government…

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This article (TC4: How NASA Plans to Test its Planetary Defense Systems on Close-Approach Asteroid) was originally published on Yahoo News and syndicated by The Event Chronicle

Asteroid TC4 to Skim Earth So Close, NASA Testing Planetary Defense System

By Leak Project

*What would you do if you knew the World was going to end in 3 days?

1.TC4 is estimated to be 50-100’ in diameter and calculations show it as close as 3400 miles. Now there are several other charts and diagrams showing this Asteroid as far as 27,000 Miles out. It is being compared to the Russian, Chelyabinsk Meteor that exploded and became brighter then the sun.

We will be looking at some of the orbits and data, directly from JPL/NASA and the High Powered Goldstone Radar System.

1. Even if this Asteroid doesn’t hit the earth, with thousands of Satellites orbiting the Earth, how likely is TC4 to hit one?

2. Also we will be looking at the similarities and parallels of the Series Salvation that came out earlier this year portraying a ELE from an Asteroid that is suppose to hit the earth on the East Coast.

This causes TPTB which are named “Atlas” just like the clandestine group that controls the world in “Shooter” to come out of the shadows and hush up anyone that might warn the public.

There is a Key Player in the Series named Darius Tanz, a mastermind genius with lots of money and toys to show off his ark that will save a tiny portion of the world. Meanwhile others are trying desperately to find a solution for the world. Espionage and hysteria causes alliances to fall and it soon becomes a nation against nation and class against class scenario.

I discovered this series the day i found out about TC4 which is also quite a synch, because it discusses a very similar parallel to either the TC4 or a NEO ELE asteroid, or meteor we might not see or know about.

3. How effective is this PDS and is this why we dont see many images of the Entire planet without being doctored because of a system that is Classified.

4. What would happen in the event of TPTB knowing a Comet would hit the earth and kill most the population. What would they do? Save themselves, save the world?

5. How to prevent an Asteroid Comet or Meteor from hitting the Earth? Would Launching a Nuclear Missile into the Asteroid will just create a plethora of smaller asteroid debris, what about the inertia and fallout?

Are there devices that could emit heat for deflection? Gravity emitters? A ship that could land on the Asteroid and steer its direction

NASA to test Planetary Defense System with Real Asteroid…

NASA to test new Planetary Defense System…

TC4 Orbit Goldstone Radar…

Chelyabinsk meteor…

Salvation TV Series…)




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