Wandering Earth: Rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet

Wandering Earth: Rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

In the Chinese science fiction film The Wandering Earth,
recently released on Netflix, humanity attempts to change the
Earth’s orbit using enormous thrusters in order to escape the
expanding Sun—and prevent a collision with Jupiter.

The scenario may one day come true. In five billion years, the
Sun will run out of fuel and expand,
most likely engulfing the Earth
. A more immediate threat is a
global warming apocalypse. Moving the Earth to a wider orbit could
be a solution—and it is possible in theory.

But how could we go about it and what are the engineering
challenges? For the sake of argument, let us assume that we aim to
move the Earth from its current orbit to an orbit 50% further from
the Sun, similar to Mars’.

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Wandering Earth: Rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet