Renowned Scientists Talked About Hazardous Space Objects Within the Summer School at SUSU

The second day of the International Summer School on Asteroid Safety finished at South Ural State University. On July 2, renowned scientists in the sphere of meteorite and asteroid research delivered their lectures for participants of the unique project.

The second day of the Summer School was dedicated to asteroid and rocket hazard and its prevention. As admitted by the invited lector, deputy scientific supervisor of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Russian Federal Nuclear Center — Zababakhin All—Russia Research Institute of technical Physics”, honoured scientist of the Russian Federation, Vadim Simonenko, arrangement of such a project is an important initiative for attraction of young people into the aerospace industry.

“I loved the idea to arrange a summer school for young people; I am sure that we have to work with the young generation of scientists. Today, in the sphere of space exploration, we manage to do things that we couldn’t do before, all thanks to the new engineering opportunities and scientific results. It is nice that young people understand the necessity of development in this direction, the more so because it is always very interesting.”

The first one to deliver a lecture on this day was Professor, laureate of NASA’s Goddard Award, Honoured Worker of Higher Education of the Russian Federation, Head at the CSU’s Theoretical Physics Department, Aleksandr Dudorov. The scientist talked about hazardous space objects – asteroids and comets – which can damage the Earth in case of collision. According to data as of June of 2019, there are more than 20 thousand objects closing in to our planet. Among them, only 1 974 can be considered as potentially dangerous, though there is not a single space object of which scientists could say that he is going to collide with the Earth for sure, causing serious consequences. Also, Professor Dudorov dwelled upon the Chelyabinsk meteorite. For the contribution that the scientist made to research the meteorite, the International Astronomical Union assigned his name to asteroid 8795 (1981 E09), discovered on July 3 of 1981.

“Since 1810, there were only 4 registered meteorites similar to the one that fell in the Chelyabinsk region. Overall, there were about 900 falls registered within this period, more than 60 tons of meteorites. We think that the main task right now is surveillance and detection of space objects of such a type,” noted the Professor.

Going on to this topic, Aleksandr Dudorov’s colleague, Candidate of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics), Associate Professor Sergey Zamozdra explained the hazard of such phenomena as supernova and black holes, the frequency of collision of small bodies of the Solar system with the Earth and with space apparatuses.

In his lecture on Asteroid and Comet Hazard and the Possibility of Its Prevention, Professor Vadim Simonenko talked about the methods used to prevent collisions of space objects with the Earth depending on their sizes and many other factors. He stressed out that from the position of the collision evolution, this is an expected process, although they do impose hazard for the humanity; therefore, protection against asteroids should become one of the prioritized directions in the world science’s development.

Also within the frameworks of the Summer School on Asteroid Safety, students and schoolchildren interested in cosmonautics learned the fundamentals of space apparatus design. Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Associate Professor at the Department of Aircraft Engines of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Ruslan Peshkov, explained the general principles, stages of construction and many other things. This knowledge will be useful for attendees of the Summer School when working on a group project: development of a space apparatuses mockup for its landing on an asteroid.

“Development of a space apparatus itself is a complex task: it includes design of the shell, power plant, on-board control unit, power supply system, and so on,” emphasized the lector. “In order for project participants to start developing their own variant of space apparatus, they need to acquire basic knowledge, for example, on an advisable choice of the structure-and-arrangement layout of a space apparatus, on the elements subject to the loads imposed on a space apparatus; they need to see the nowadays-existing structures in general.”

After the lecture, Summer School attendees were assigned into various groups and got familiar with the pattern according to which their work over group projects is to be carried out.

Student of the SUSU Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Kirill Lazenyuk, told us about his impressions regarding the two passed days of the Summer School:

“Over the two days of Summer School’s operation, a lot of information was presented regarding the Chelyabinsk meteorite; it was interesting for us to learn about this in details. Also, it was very interesting to learn about the professional path of an astronaut: anyone willing can become an astronaut. Lectors paid the major attention to protection against asteroids and celestial bodies which are hazardous for the Earth and dangerous for us as well. Aside from the lectures regarding the meteorite hazard and layout of aerospace apparatuses, we are going to execute a project. Step-by-step, we will be receiving information on the basis of which a project of each of the groups is to be implemented.”

Upon conclusion of lecture classes, attendees of the Summer School on Asteroid Safety are going to work on construction of a space apparatus. Part of the work will be carried out in the Quantorium.

Azaliya Sharafutdinova, photo by: Oleg Igoshin
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