1998 OR2 has a diameter of 2.5 miles and will according to the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies is set to fly past Earth at 9.56am on April 29. Though it is currently expected to be 3.9 million miles from Earth, as reported by International Business Times, a collision can still occur due to mitigating factors. The first is the Yarkovsky effect in which heat exerted from an internal object such as the Sun can alter the spin of an asteroid and force it into a deadly collision course with Earth.
“This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know, right now, to host life – and that is the planet Earth.”
NASA is in the process of developing the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).
DART will attempt to redirect asteroids away before they can collide with Earth.
The project will hope to use a special spacecraft and launch a test in summer 2021, a year after 1998 OR2 is set to pass by.
It will attempt to knock one of the Didymos asteroids out of orbit.
The project will occur in September 2022.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has warn a contract to assist on the project.
The contract is worth $69million (£57million).