How does an expensive spacecraft that flies to other planets take into account the likelihood of a collision with a meteorite that could disable it?

How does an expensive spacecraft that flies to other planets take into account the likelihood of a collision with a meteorite that could disable it?

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answers (2)

Answer 1
July, 2021

As of today, as far as I know, NASA's N-body codes are able to calculate the movement of ships forward for tens of years with an accuracy of tens of meters. Those. you write down the current orbits of all known space objects (larger than a certain size), and the code calculates the most optimal orbit of your spacecraft, depending on the purpose of the flight. Apparently, of course, some well-known asteroid clouds are also registered. But the code is not publicly available, so you can't find out for sure.

Answer 2
July, 2021

Not a meteorite, but an asteroid. A meteorite is a space body that fell on another, much larger space body.

So, the chance of colliding with an asteroid in space is extremely negligible. Because space is extremely huge and desperately empty. Yes, a space grain of sand, theoretically, can destroy the apparatus, and no reasonable protection against this can be foreseen. But the chances of encountering it are about as great as shooting a jerboa by shooting in the desert in a random direction.

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