Russia may send spacecraft to knock away asteroid

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Aero
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Russia may send spacecraft to knock away asteroid

Postby Aero » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:26 am

- Russia's space agency chief said Wednesday a spacecraft may be dispatched to knock a large asteroid off course and reduce the chances of earth impact, even though U.S. scientists say such a scenario is unlikely.



I think that if we don't prepare a system and method to divert asteroids, then we will wait until it is to late. What do you think? Should we practice on this asteroid or should we wait for one that we must divert and hope for success on the first try?
Aero

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:52 am


DeltaV
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Postby DeltaV » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:11 am

They could use Tsar Bomba to ensure vaporization and avoid the shotgun effect.
Apophis: < 500 m dia.
Fireball: 2.3 km dia.

Image

If no Tsar Bombas remain, I vote for a Polywell pusher crash program.

IntLibber
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Postby IntLibber » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:56 pm


Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:50 am

I've actually attended an Asteroid Deflection Symposium, as a member of SIGMA and at the invitation of DHS. The effort in the US is essentially unfunded.

http://www.aere.iastate.edu/fileadmin/w ... S_2008.pdf

NASA is in charge of launch capacity, but says "no bucks, no Buck Rogers." They do have a mandate to dream stuff up. The Air Force is perfectly willing to look at ways of harming asteroids ... they figure they are experts at hitting stuff, but again have essentially no budget and only have a few people looking in to it. That leaves the bulk of the activity to a few people Iowa State and anyone they can snag into it, including SF authors working pro bono.

The good news is there is an effort underway to identify all the Earth-crossing asteroids, and they appear to be well along toward that goal. This is an activity even amateur astronmers can contribute to, but it is a pro program. So if there is a threat, we will probably detect it in time, and get a mission funded. Presuming the threat is detected in plenty of time (likely if the present detection program proceeds), we may have a good chance of doing something about it.

IntLibber
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Postby IntLibber » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:26 am


Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:53 pm


IntLibber
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Postby IntLibber » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:45 pm


Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:22 pm


TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:47 pm


glemieux
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Postby glemieux » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:32 pm


pfrit
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Postby pfrit » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:51 pm

What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care.

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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:17 pm

I seem to remember reading in a few places years ago that our nukes (<50 megatonnes) are not powerful enough to destroy a large, "earth-killer" asteroid composed of stuff like dense rock and iron. Even if you took up several of the largest available nukes on multiple launches, assembled them together, and sent them at the asteroid, you still probably wouldn't have enough power. The Orion/Daedalus approach is probably the most feasible: attach a series of nukes to the asteroid and use the explosions to deflect it.

Maybe if you had a >1000 megatonne antimatter warhead you could annihilate one of those things... if the particle accelerator won't work for finding a Higgs boson, maybe we could use it to make antihydrogen? :lol:


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