NASA asked researchers to look into what to do if an asteroid targeted earth. Some enterprising students have decided that gravity is the most efficient (and cheapest) way to deflect big rocks from destroying our small planet. What’s more is that the students have designed their device to perform research on the asteroid as the spacecraft does it thing.
The equipment will collect data on the location and composition of the asteroid and relay it back to Earth. It is considered very unlikely that Apophis will collide with Earth. However, if required, the craft will be sent to it again in 2025 and, using its gravity, will begin to divert the asteroid from its path. Due to the difference in mass between the asteroid and the spacecraft, it will not be able to divert the asteroid with enough force and will need the assistance of the Earth’s mass. Since in 2029, the asteroid is supposed to pass near the Earth, the spacecraft will use the Earth’s mass in order to divert it.