MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Russia is developing an advanced space project to detect and identify the tracks of devastating asteroids and comets from directions that are indiscernible from the Earth, the Central Research Institute for Mechanical Engineering (part of the Roscosmos state corporation) told TASS.
"Research efforts must serve as a basis for future R&D work that must undergo obligatory competitive selection by the Council for Space of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Roscosmos state corporation," the institute reported, explaining that the issue is being addressed together with other interested organizations. However, to date, this project is not part of the approved Federal Space Program for 2025 that is being implemented now.
As was earlier reported, Russian scientists recommended launching a telescope 1.5 mln kilometers away from the Earth to L1, the so-called Langrangian point (an area in which a space vehicle remains motionless regarding the Earth-Sun system) to monitor asteroids that fly to the Earth downsun. Optical telescopes are useless here. However, to identify an astronomical body over 10 meters in size, a small 30 cm diameter telescope should be delivered to this point. The project was named "Detection System for Day Asteroids" ("SODA").
Besides, the research institute said it is continuing work on developing an automated warning system for dangerous situations in the near-Earth space that will monitor, above all, operating space vehicles and space junk and warn interested agencies on the possibility of a collision in the Earth’s orbit.
The institute also explained that it can also monitor asteroids and comets and, thus, closely interacts with the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The institute explained that detection and observation of potentially hazardous objects, as well as ways to counter this threat, will be discussed this year at the international Near-Earth Astronomy conference that will take place in Russia under the auspices of the Institute of Astronomy.
In 2016, the UN General Assembly proclaimed June 30 to be Asteroid Day. This occasion is dedicated to the Tunguska event that occurred on June 30, 1908, over Siberia.