On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, NASA astronauts paid tribute to the heroes who risked their lives to save others on that day by tweeting a special message from space.
“Honoring the brave public servants of @FDNY. Thank you for your service, we remember your fallen comrades,” NASA’s Expedition 60 astronaut Drew Morgan tweeted from the International Space Station. “Your flag and patch are proudly orbiting the Earth on board the @Space_Station! #NeverForget.”
Morgan shared photos of a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) patch floating in the Cupola window with a view of Earth in the background, as well as a photo of himself with an FDNY flag mounted inside the orbiting laboratory.
Honoring the brave public servants of @FDNY. Thank you for your service, we remember your fallen comrades. Your flag and patch are proudly orbiting the Earth on board the @Space_Station! #NeverForget
NASA also commemorated the somber anniversary from down on Earth by sharing a recent photo of Manhattan captured from space. NASA astronaut Christina Koch captured the photo below from the International Space Station as it passed over the area on Aug. 19, 2019.
“Each year, we pause and never forget,” NASA officials said in a statement. “Beyond remembering and honoring the Americans who died that day, NASA also assisted FEMA in New York in the days afterward, and remembered the victims by providing flags flown aboard the Space Shuttle to their families.”
AN ASTEROID twice the size of the
infamous Apophis is set to strike Earth in the future – and researchers
have warned NASA that the consequences of inaction could be disastrous.
Asteroid 101955 Bennu, formally known as 1999
RQ36, is a carbonaceous space rock in the Apollo group, first discovered by NASA’s LINEAR
project on September 11, 1999. It is a potentially hazardous object listed
on the Sentry Risk Table with the second-highest cumulative rating on the
Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. The space rock is currently the target
of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission which is intended to return samples to Earth
in 2023, which will help researchers determine its possible outcome.However, investigators have
already warned the space agency that it could be devastating if they do
explained: “Asteroid 1999 RQ36, [set to strike in] the year 2182, is
considered the most dangerous asteroid in the universe.
rocky body measures approximately 560 metres in diameter and was discovered in
The asteroid could be heading to Earth
Bennu has been snapped
up by NASA (Image: WIKI)
is considered the most dangerous asteroid in the universe
to scientific studies it is estimated that it will impact the Earth in the year
to a study by scientist Maria Eugenia Sansaturio the 1999 asteroid
may or may not impact the Earth.”
Sansaturio warned in a report for the Solar System journal Icarus that there is
a good chance of the asteroid striking.
Universe Today in 2010: “The total impact probability of asteroid 1999
RQ36 can be estimated as 0.00092, approximately one-in-a-thousand chance, but
what is most surprising is that over half of this chance (0.00054) corresponds
a fair amount of orbital uncertainty, due to the gravitational influences on
the asteroid when it passes by the Earth and other objects.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will
return in 2023 (Image: WIKI)
could also gain a minimal amount of influence from the Yarkovsky effect, which
is an unbalanced thermal radiation from sunlight hitting one side of the
asteroid and not the other that produces a tiny acceleration.
This effect had not previously
been taken into account by NASA.
Dr Sansaturio added: “The consequence of this complex dynamic is not
just the likelihood of a comparatively large impact, but also that a realistic
deflection procedure, or path deviation could only be made before the impact in
2080, and more easily, before 2060.
“If this object had been
discovered after 2080, the deflection would require a technology that is not
“Therefore, this example
suggests that impact monitoring, which up to date does not cover more than 80
or 100 years, may need to encompass more than one century.
Asteroids have the
potential to cause devastation (Image: GETTY)
An impact crater
thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs (Image:
“Thus, the efforts to deviate
this type of objects could be conducted with moderate resources, from a
technological and financial point of view.”
NASA’s new mission will touch
back down in four years, then scientists will have all the details they need to
make a firm decision on the true threat of Bennu.
OSIRIS-REx will help refine
their understanding of Bennu’s orbit, principal
investigator Dante Lauretta, of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the
University of Arizona revealed more recently.
He told Space.com in 2016:
“Our uncertainties will shrink, so that will allow us to recalculate the
“We don’t know which
direction it’ll go, it could go down, because we just eliminated a bunch of
possible keyholes that Bennu may hit.
Untapped value of
asteroids (Image: DX) “Or it may go up, because in the area that’s
left we have a higher concentration of keyholes compared to the overall area of
the uncertainty plane.”
work will also help researchers better understand the Yarkovsky effect.
Either way, scientists have
assured Bennu is not big enough to end life on Earth.
Such an impact would likely
devastate the local area but fall short of wiping out civilisation or causing a
Astronomers estimate that a
space rock must be at least 0.6 mile wide to cause a global catastrophe.
The asteroid thought to have
wiped out the dinosaurs — or at least to have finished them off — was
probably about 6 miles across.