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Guru
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Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 8:47 AM

In 2036, an asteroid the size of a skyscraper should pass inside the Earth's orbit of a handful of satellites, begging the question: Could we protect ourselves? NASA is conducting an asteroid survey, but a leading solution — the gravity tractor — seems a bit far fetched.

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Industrial MRO, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Industrial MRO today.

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#1

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 9:50 AM

How about attaching solid rocket boosters to the asteroid, firing them off at full-blast and thereby altering the trajectory of the big beast (if only by a few degrees- and if early enough)

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#10
In reply to #1

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/05/2007 4:46 PM

Carrying enough delta V in fuel for boosters to a rendezvous would be problematical,
however, carrying a solar sail and netting, masts, etc. to accellerate the thing enough
to be useful, (given an early enough rendezvous), might be feasable.

We only have a little over 20 years. - Better get started.

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Guru
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#2

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 10:49 AM

I heard some thing about a rocket propelled aerosol to paint it white on one side and dark black on the other. The other solution had a 50 to 100 megaton nuclear device to deflect it not to vaporise it, just to nudge it that bit to one side. Just imagine a launch pad failure of the rocket causing the warhead to detonate. Not nice.

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#3

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 12:59 PM

What would the white-paint/ black-paint thing do?

Re: launchpad failure- I don't think that'd be a problem. There's plenty of ICBM research that's been done. The warhead wont even detonate on high velocity direct impact. It has to be the correct implosion, critical mass etc, as well as alot of safe-guards in place, I believe..

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 2:24 PM

The paint is to provide for a temperature differential so that it would cause the object to drift, the hotter side being the black coated side, and this heating would given enough time produce an admittedly small amount of propulsion. Just coat the right side or it comes calling rather too early. Oucha.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 2:28 PM

Of course, if it's spinning you need to be even more careful.

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#4

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 1:26 PM

Interesting article.... and subject.......Hope a solution to this possibility is found ASAP........Vinward......

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Guru
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#5

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 2:05 PM

A powerful enough laser fired at an asteroid a sufficient distance away can change its trajectory enough to miss the earth. Likewise, a couple ton probe can nudge it out of our way, if there is sufficient time and distance involved.

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#6

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 2:11 PM

Yeah! Now if we applied all of these things at once...

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#9

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/04/2007 2:37 PM

And even if it's not, it might start.

Sounds like a Bruce Willis movie- but instead of drilling equipment they have painting equipment..a big truck with paint spray guns- painting an asteriod..hmmm

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#11

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/06/2007 8:42 AM

In the Star Trek original series episode "The Paradise Syndrome", an ancient alien species installs an "asteroid deflector" in an obelisk on a planet (far, far away). Unfortunately, the inhabitants are unaware that it's actually a powerful deflector and do their worshiping in front of it instead. Captain Kirk accidentally opens it when he says "Kirk to Enterprise". They eventually find out how to operate it and saved the planet from colliding with a gigantic asteroid.

So, let's get people to stand in front of the obelisks around our planet saying "Kirk to Enterprise" in case one of those deflectors was left here on Earth.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Designs for "Deep Impact" Danger

05/06/2007 8:31 PM

There would be a power cut just at the vital moment. Or it would turn out to be the entrance to a nuclear dump. The powers that be will simply forget to alert any one; why do you think G W Bush is so keen to get to the Moon or Mars. They will build a secret launch site on his ranch.

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