Will apophis hit earth?

They don't think so, but it will be very close in 2029. There is more concern about the next time it comes by, but that's really not that far off, it will be in 2036.


When Apophis comes close to Earth (and it will be VERY close on an astronomical scale - below the altitude of geosynchronous satellites!) on Friday, April 13, 2029, it WILL MISS. However, we cannot accurately predict PRECISELY how close it will come, and how the orbit of Apophis will be altered by the Earth's gravity.

And when Apophis returns to near-Earth space, on Friday, April 13, 3036, there is a very small chance that it will strike the Earth. However, during the close pass in 2029, we will plant telemetry sensors and radar reflectors which will enable us to track it with perfect accuracy. And if we're smart - and nobody ever accused NASA of being smart! - we will also plant two very large nuclear weapons on Apophis.

Then, several months later, when we've had time to calculate its orbit to see exactly where it will be in 2036, we can determine whether one or both of the weapons should be detonated to nudge Apophis into a safer orbit. And if it turns out that Apophis is not going to hit the Earth in 2036, then we can ignore them and watch the pretty asteroid scoot by. And in 2050 or so, we ought to be able to capture the asteroid and move it into a parking orbit, perhaps in the L4 or L5 points on the Moon's orbit.

Just think; if this all works out, your grandchildren may live in the Apophis Station!