The threat is real: on 15 February 2013, a previously undetected meteorite exploded in the atmosphere above Russia’s Ural Mountains, and the resulting shock wave caused extensive damage and injuries. Asteroids are larger than meteorites, and they have created at least 170 impact craters on the Earth.
Implementing a rapid-response, deep-space deflection mission is extremely challenging and complex. The need to act must come from a compelling political desire, while building on the successful heritage of European technology and in-house expertise. Airbus – as a large system integrator – is ideally positioned to respond to this challenge.