"People's lives are at stake," Russian scientist Anatoly Perminov told the Russian radio station Golos Rossii. "We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow us to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people."
Perminov was talking about the Russian scientists plan to spend several hundreds of millions of dollars to design and implement a system capable of deflecting large meteors out of earth's path.
"Calculations show that it's possible to create a special-purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision. The threat of collision can be averted," Perminov added.
According to NASA, there is a slim chance that the Apophis asteroid might hit earth in 2036.
Details of the plan still need to be work out, but Perminov has invited NASA, the ESA and other space agencies to participate.
Unrelated to the Russian project, space researcher Matt Genge from the Imperial College London has calculated that a spaceship to move the asteroid to a different trajectory would only need to have the approximate mass, acceleration, and thrust of a small car to push the asteroid out of the path of Earth in 75 days.
Matt also calculated that painting the meteor or covering it with mirrors would change the way it absorbs heat energy enough to steer it out of earth's path in 20 years.