Asteroid Bennu, an asteroid which has a possibility of 1 in 2,700 chance of hitting the Earth might get a nuke before it comes closer to the Earth surface.
Bennu is stated to hit Earth on September 21, 2135, which is unlikely to happen. The US government wants NASA to make sure that it neutralizes the danger of Bennu hitting Earth by using nuclear bombs as stated by Futurism. AsteroidBennu is about 54million miles away from Earth.
This asteroid is huge and measures about 500 meters. The size of the asteroid is not so huge that the Earth will face an existential situation as reported by Space.com.
NASA along with the National Nuclear Security Administration and other two weapons lab department is planning to build a spacecraft, which will help to nuke the asteroid Bennu if it gets close to the earth. The project for this is named as HAMMER or Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response. According to Futurism report, there are two possible ways in which HAMMER will work. At first, if the size of the asteroid is small, then the spacecraft will be used to smash the asteroid. Secondly, if the asteroid is large, then spacecraft will carry a nuke to detonate at the asteroid.
The idea of having a project like HAMMER came to surface in 2010 from a report published in journal ActaAstronautica in which scientist state that “ The two realistic response considered is the use if a spacecraft is functioning as either kinetic impactor or a nuclear explosive carrier to deflect the approaching NEO.”
Bennu hitting the Earth has a possibility of mere 0.0003 percent. The project HAMMER is unlikely to get fund for this reason and also Bennu is going to have a long journey through violent Solar System. NASA said that the density of the rock might be less and it may act as a hollow capsule and may get destroyed on the way to Earth.