Russia plans to target near-Earth Objects starting with asteroid Apophis

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Sabit Saitgarayev, the leading researcher at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, will lead the research and ongoing investigations. Before Russia can target near-Earth objects (also known as NEOs) they have to create special rockets that can be fired on short notice. This is needed because most rockets are based on liquid fuel. The process of fueling such a rocket begins 10 days before the launch. Unfortunately, meteorites similar to the Chelyabinsk one are hard to spot and can be detected less than several hours before their impact with Earth.

Sabit Saitgarayev explains that a solution would be to re-purpose existing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. But not before they suffer an upgrade meant to make them fit for destroying meteorites. The modification of the ICBMs will cost Russia several million dollars, that is to say if everything is approved by the authorities. Even though this is for now unclear, scientists have already begun their work. If everything goes to plan Russia will target asteroid Apophis in 2036.

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