Print 31 comment(s) - last by jimbojimbo.. on Jan 6 at 3:17 PM

Plan lacks any input from oil field workers

Hollywood has made several movies that center on how humans could destroy an asteroid or comet that was on a trajectory to hit the Earth. Some astronomers believe that the chance of an asteroid impact is high enough to warrant preparation and plans to be readied to prevent such a catastrophe.

The most credible asteroid threat to the Earth that we know of today is the Apophis asteroid that was estimated to have a one in 250,000 chance of striking the Earth. NASA announced in October 2009 that the asteroid is expected to pass within 18,000 miles of Earth in 2029. NASA later said that it has "all but ruled out" the chance of the asteroid hitting the Earth in 2036.

Despite NASA determining that the asteroid will not hit the Earth, Russian scientists are readying a plan to prevent the potential impact. The Russian plan reads like something Bruce Willis would be involved with, yet the plan is surprisingly void of oil field workers. The Russian researchers are considering a plan to send a spacecraft to bump the large asteroid to a safer orbit.

Scientist Anatoly Perminov told a Russian radio station Golos Rossii, "People's lives are at stake. 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."

He continued saying, "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 states that the details of the plan still need to be worked out, but he invited NASA, the ESA, and other space agencies to participate in the planning. The Guardian reports that 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.

Other methods to change the trajectory of an asteroid include mirrors, light, or paint to change the way the asteroid absorbs heat enough to shift its direction. These methods would take about 20 years to change the path of the asteroid.

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Plasma weapon : target practice...
By fteoath64 on 1/3/2010 5:23:05 AM , Rating: 1
The Navy can use that Plasma gun powered by two particle accelerators to blow the asteroid into a million pieces. They were trying to shoot UFOs using that thing. So aimed at any incoming asteriod would be a nice "gun" to shoot it into smaller pieces. I think NASA STS-48 video shows that weapon in action.

Sargent: Soldier, why did you throw out a grenade when you can use an RPG to blow the target to smithereens!?. Silly boy.

RE: Plasma weapon : target practice...
By SPOOFE on 1/3/2010 5:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
Great, so instead of one massive single target coming at us, we have a roughly equivalent mass of many tiny targets coming at us. Sure, the increased surface area would cause many of the fragments to disintegrate in the atmosphere, but we'd still have multiple-meter to multiple-dozens of meter diameter chunklets pounding into us.

That said, the proposed idea is straight out of books like Hammer of God, and is very unlike that postulated in Armageddon.

By Totally on 1/5/2010 8:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
Tiny things burn up in the atmosphere.

By Mojo the Monkey on 1/6/2010 2:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Your theory completely neglects the fact that an explosion of the original body would send a large % of the fragmented mass in altered courses, which would miss the earth altogether.

Your shotgun thing may be true, but its a lot better than getting hit by a bowling ball.

yeah sure
By glennforum on 12/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: yeah sure
By Kurz on 12/31/2009 2:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Who isn't thinking of Space weapons?

RE: yeah sure
By mihadeth on 1/1/2010 9:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually they want to change its trajectory in a way so it will fall on USA ;)

Pushing The Rock Out Of Existance
By ariendautre on 12/31/2009 1:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
Going to be the last date with the rock, I bet the team will make up a nice bit of fire show up there right after it passes the Globe.

Make sputniks .... not missiles (-:

By grath on 1/1/2010 2:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
What good is a Sputnik without a missile to launch it?

By SonicIce on 1/3/2010 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 4
Excellent call with the Bruce Willis pic

Butterfly effect
By straycat74 on 1/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Butterfly effect
By grath on 1/1/2010 2:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
Relative to the vastness of the solar system, objects like large asteroids are still very small and very far apart and moving very slowly. The odds of an asteroid hitting another asteroid, or even hitting a planet, are literally astronomical. So lets just say that "astronomical squared" are the odds of even a single chain reaction collision occurring.

On the other hand, one could say that given a sufficiently large time scale the odds of everything hitting everything else increases. What?

By markokostic on 1/2/2010 8:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a lot of different stuff that people invent to deflect asteroids, but no one mentions Tesla earthquake machine (simply known as oscillator). If we put a lot of them on surface and activated in groups in different time everything goes on peaces and later we could add plug-in from Mozilla and it will finish the job :))

Is that Bruce Willis?
By hashish2020 on 1/4/2010 4:17:19 AM , Rating: 2
Is Die Hard in the picture, or am I just nuts?

Possible Dumb Question
By HoundRogerson on 1/4/2010 5:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm nowhere near an astrophysicist, so I don't know if this would be a bad idea, but what if we could re-direct a large asteroid straight into the sun?

Wouldn't it just melt and turn into so much gravel that can fall into the Suns' gravity well to burn up closer in?

But what if it's spinning?
By jimbojimbo on 1/6/2010 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
All these supposed solutions require the asteroid to not be spinning. If you want to push a spinning object in one direction you can only provide bursts of force upon the object, especially if you're going to be pushing it with say a rocket. Any rockets on the rock would have to be designed to only provide thrust when pointing in a certain direction. I suppose arranging a series of thrusters along its rotation would work all programmed to only go off when pointing in a certain direction but again a lot of work.

By TheEinstein on 1/2/2010 12:56:11 PM , Rating: 1
If you get it far enough, and only alter the course a nanometer out there, it would miss by a considerable distance at the end.

And if we do it for an asteroid we know has little concern, and proved the hardware (not the concept) we could have a functioning system for when we do detect a city killer sized asteroid.

the cruel irony
By RU482 on 12/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: the cruel irony
By Nfarce on 12/31/2009 11:31:09 AM , Rating: 1
...or at the very least maybe give the Norwegians another cool blue spiral in the night sky to gaze at.

But seriously, I wonder if there will be as much international negative references to this as there was when the US "showed off" its tech when it blew a dying spy satellite to smithereens in 2008.

RE: the cruel irony
By howiecarr on 1/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: the cruel irony
By sigmatau on 1/1/2010 11:16:47 AM , Rating: 3
The Chinese and the US both blew up satellites. The only difference was that the Chinese planned it with the satellite they destroyed, while the US had to do it last minute as their satellite was falling and had a very large amount of hazardous fuel which was needed to be diverted from populated areas.

RE: the cruel irony
By grath on 1/1/2010 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 5
Don't kid yourself, the US did not "have to do it last minute." Every time we put something into orbit theres a risk of debris falling over populated areas, yes it may have had more fuel than an end-of-life deorbit, but 1000lb of raining propellant is hardly a reason to task Navy cruisers to shoot it down with experimental missiles.

USA 193 provided an extremely convenient and somewhat politically excusable opportunity to test an ASAT and demonstrate that capability in the aftermath of the Chinese test. Its decaying orbit minimized the persistence of the generated debris cloud and the hazardous fuel issue made for good half-propaganda.

Neither country "had" to do it, but both wanted to do it. The real difference is that the Chinese intercept took place at an altitude of 865km and left a more persistent and hazardous debris cloud than the US test which occurred at 240km.

RE: the cruel irony
By Master Kenobi on 1/2/2010 8:17:42 PM , Rating: 4
The US has never done such a thing? 1985 just called they said get a history book.

On 13 September 1985, Maj. Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson, flying the "Celestial Eagle" F-15A 76-0084 launched an ASM-135 ASAT about 200 miles (322 km) west of Vandenberg Air Force Base and destroyed the Solwind P78-1 satellite flying at an altitude of 345 miles (555 km).

RE: the cruel irony
By zkln on 12/31/2009 11:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
Oh man...Edgar J. Hoover is dead. You can stop now.

RE: the cruel irony
By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2009 11:44:21 AM , Rating: 4
No, we want 2000 years of hate, just like in the middle east.

RE: the cruel irony
By chagrinnin on 1/1/2010 8:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
His brother John E. Hoover passed away too. :P

RE: the cruel irony
By Smartless on 12/31/2009 1:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
... and we'll the world hostage for 1 MILLION DOLLARS.

We'll call this operation "Armageddon".

RE: the cruel irony
By chagrinnin on 1/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: the cruel irony
By TSS on 12/31/2009 4:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
In Soviet Russia, Trajectory changes You.

In all seriousness though, i doubt blasting 10 orso of the 100 megaton nuke design the ruskies already have laying around into the side of that asteroid won't do anything. We all know it'll most likely come down to that because everything else will be technologically out of our reach for another couple hundred of years.

RE: the cruel irony
By 100whey on 12/31/2009 9:38:57 PM , Rating: 1
at least theyre trying to do something about it. They will only try to prevent it hitting if they know its going to hit anyway so it wouldn't be ironic. Good ol' USA would just sit there in its fat slump not taking it seriously until its too late because it wouldn't make anyone any money doing something about it. Oh hey there USA wanna try save your life and the lives of billions of others? Not if I don't make money out of it!

RE: the cruel irony
By magneticfield on 1/2/2010 8:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure the Russians won't ask for a ransom when tshtf ?
They will say they have enough bunkers to go underground and survive.

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