Our planet is surrounded by possibly dangerous asteroids. According to NASA, there are more than one thousand asteroids in Earth’s vicinity.
The group has put out a call for assistance from other countries with its mission to redirect the giant flying rocks – which travel at about 55,923 miles per hour – away from civilisation.
Along with the hundreds of asteroids already orbiting dangerously close to the planet, scientists anticipate many more will be discovered over the next few years.
To tackle the growing amount of flying space debris, NASA has launched its first-ever robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid to remove some of its mass and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon.
The agency will use further missions study the velocity, orbit, size and spin of asteroids before deciding whether they can be redirected. But the agency has so far found just four flying rocks it thinks it can divert.
The missions to collect a multi-tonne boulders from the surface of asteroids will see robots launched into space to perform the task while other missions will be crewed by astronauts.
The agency is also hoping its planet-saving missions will give further clues to the origins of the universe.
Asteroids are left-over materials from the solar system‘s formation and NASA said: “Astronauts will return to Earth with far more samples than have ever been available for study, which could open new scientific discoveries about the formation of our solar system and beginning of life on Earth.”
The agency hopes the missions will also help it prepare for a mission to Mars.
NASA’s call for help with its missions comes as an asteroid known as 2016 SR2 skimmed perilously close to Earth last week.
In the last fortnight, several meteors have also been spotted coming dangerously close to Earth including in Queensland and across the US.