Protecting Earth from asteroids

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EarthlingX

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spacefellowship.com : Russia, Europe may join forces to protect Earth from asteroids
Published by Klaus Schmidt
on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:42 am
via:RIA Novosti

MOSCOW – Russian space officials and members of the European Commission will meet in early July to discuss joining forces against thousands of potentially hazardous asteroids, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

Despite the growing concern about the asteroid threat, no anti-asteroid defense programs have been developed in practice so far, with only several theoretical concepts being studied. At a meeting in Moscow on July 7, the European Commission will consider Roscosmos’s proposal to start a joint anti-asteroid project with the European Union.

“I received a letter, in which the European Commission proposes to meet on July 7 in Roscosmos with scientists and engineers of the Federal Space Agency, the Russian Academy of Sciences and other institutions and organizations. At the meeting, the Russian bid to start a joint project with the EU will be considered,” Anatoly Perminov said.
 
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bdewoody

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As much as I would like to see the Nations of the world come together and come up with a workable asteroid/comet defence plan I am afraid it will take an actual strike to get the powers that be to really spend what's necessary to achieve the goal.
 
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rockett

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bdewoody":7um4vash said:
As much as I would like to see the Nations of the world come together and come up with a workable asteroid/comet defence plan I am afraid it will take an actual strike to get the powers that be to really spend what's necessary to achieve the goal.
I'm a bit more optimistic, a near miss would do..
 
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neilsox

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My guess is the most effective near term defence is lasers in solar orbit powered by nuclear power plants in the manned or unmanned craft in random solar orbits. This would be incredibly costly and a failure at launch could mean slightly reduced average life expectancy for a billion humans. The laser would burn small holes = depressions in the asteroid or comet which would behave like a jet engine propelling the asteroid (or comet) in the opposite direction for a few hours or days while within range of the laser. Present lasers would change the course minutely, so several lasers need to pass within range while the potential destructor was still billions of travel miles from Earth impact, to change a probable hit to a probable miss. There would always be the reasonable doubt that the calculations were in error sufficiently that the laser beam was increasing instead of decreasing the number of deaths that would result from impact. Neil
 
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EarthlingX

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SDC : All About Asteroids

During the formation of our solar system, hundreds of thousands of particles were pulled by Jupiter’s gravity rather than being spread out through space. These minor planets, or asteroids, are the products of the protoplanetary disc – dense rings of gas surrounding a newly formed star.
With a lot of articles, videos and links.

Google search for asteroid related articles on SDC is rather successful an might give you some food for thought :
asteroid protection site:space.com


In my opinion, no so good idea, just a fast fix, with not so clear consequences :

SDC : Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Asteroids
By Denise Chow
SPACE.com Staff Writer
posted: 25 June 2010
12:19 pm ET



If a massive asteroid is hurtling toward Earth and threatening to sterilize the entire planet, blasting it to pieces with nuclear bombs might seem fit for a Hollywood movie. But, it could, in fact, be a viable solution to the potentially apocalyptic event, according to scientists who have studied asteroids and possible solutions to prevent Earth impacts.

There are some strings attached: The interloping space rock would have to pose a definite asteroid threat to Earth in a relatively short timeframe to justify such a drastic option, the scientists said. And blowing up an asteroid runs the risk of creating more debris to worry about later, they added.
 
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rockett

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First maybe we need to get some serious money behing tracking them. Budget is pretty skimpy from what I hear...
 
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scottb50

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rockett":okj9tl8x said:
First maybe we need to get some serious money behing tracking them. Budget is pretty skimpy from what I hear...
First place to start would be finding the asteroids, the next would be having something to do if you found one. A laser might work just great, but I bet Solar could give it more then enough power, up close you might be able to nudge the asteroid into a new orbit. The next problem would be how long to react, you need enough time to get there and do something.

I would suspect a couple of Nukes landed on the surface would handle nearly everything not already seen, or you send two or three.

Comets are different and size can vary considerably. No real reason the same plan wouldn't work, land a package at a strategic position you could changes it's orbit, just be sure what you change it to isn't a future problem. Could be very simple and a number of current launchers could put it into orbit. Each use would take multiple launches anyway.

Once in orbit it's just a matter of getting to the object, Much easier from LEO then the ground.

We could have I-Pad, I-phone, Droid, whatever service from LEO, instant World-wide communication. G-6 or 10 ? G15?

A small crew of technicians, future tourists.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Rather a naive view of comets (no insult intended there). Many are on near parabolic orbits, so you can't intercept them far enough away (Outside of Jupiter's orbit, before they are dicovered) to make any significant difference in their path.

Most asteroids are different; they orbit the same direction as earth around the sun, so a small nudge a decade or so in advance can ensure the earth and asteroid are not at the same place at the same time.
With a comet from the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud, it's going to hit whatever it will hit.

MW
 
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scottb50

Guest
MeteorWayne":29kqnpc1 said:
Rather a naive view of comets (no insult intended there). Many are on near parabolic orbits, so you can't intercept them far enough away (Outside of Jupiter's orbit, before they are dicovered) to make any significant difference in their path.
I would think if you intercept it anywhere before it hits you would have a chance of changing the orbit.
 
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Astro_Robert

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I would think that if we were to discover a probable comet strike a full orbit or more before hand, then a modest nudge during an earlier perihelion could do a lot to shift a potential impact. In the unlucky event that we discover such an object on a short term collision, then nukes are really the only option.

Also, as far as nuking an object, my understanding is that many folks have proposed a standoff blast for larger objects. A large enough object would not be fully disrupted even by a megaton strike (bug on the windshield), and may in fact create a shotgun blast. A standoff blast would in theory vaporize the surface, giving the remaining mass a push away, provided sufficient time remains for this to be worthwhile.

However, I do feel that if we could guarantee pulverizing an object into sufficiently small pieces, that it would be beneficial to do so as a swarm of 'gravel' mostly burning up in the atmosphere would do less damage than a large impact somewhere. I simply believe that a swarm of small enough rubble has greater surface area to mass than a big one and would therefore do less damage given sufficiently small pieces. I do recognize, however, that a few large pieces may well be worse than just one big one.
 
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EarthlingX

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Could you people try and think out of the terms of nuking everything ? Perhaps a bit more gentle approach, like ion engines, gravity tractor ?

I would expect any option to be tested first, and i'm very reluctant to accept nuking rocks that zoom close by - just got me a new roof, and those rocks make mean holes, which AFAIK are not covered with my insurance policy.
 
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Valcan

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EarthlingX":2y50pntl said:
Could you people try and think out of the terms of nuking everything ? Perhaps a bit more gentle approach, like ion engines, gravity tractor ?

I would expect any option to be tested first, and i'm very reluctant to accept nuking rocks that zoom close by - just got me a new roof, and those rocks make mean holes, which AFAIK are not covered with my insurance policy.
One of the reasons ive always been for the Space tug for LEO and beyond is that technology and knowledge gained from that could be used to do gravity tractor and to land and attach multiple vehicles with ion or vasimr engines and begin push/pull it into a new orbit maybe eventually bring it into GEO.

We need to get our stations out of LEO. Its crowded with junk and satelites and also is unstable and requires station keeping to keep them up.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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scottb50

Guest
EarthlingX":3go83n31 said:
Could you people try and think out of the terms of nuking everything ? Perhaps a bit more gentle approach, like ion engines, gravity tractor ?

I would expect any option to be tested first, and i'm very reluctant to accept nuking rocks that zoom close by - just got me a new roof, and those rocks make mean holes, which AFAIK are not covered with my insurance policy.
If it's found an object will present a danger in the future ion drives and other means would probably be a lot easier to handle and deal with. What has most people worried is we could be centered in the sights of something we have never seen before, at least in recorded history. We already have Comets that return every 75-100 years and legends and myths from a couple thousand years ago, that seem to indicate a lot more activity then we see today. Chances are we wouldn't have a great deal of time to make a plan and to put it into motion. That it could happen next year or in a million years or it could happen tomorrow, just as easily.

Comparing the ages and distances between Galaxies and individual Stars recent theory has been some Comets are transferees, Comets flung so hard from the initial explosion that they are captured by another Star. If that's the case the numbers go up as time flies even more.
 
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EarthlingX

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www.newscientist.com : Asteroid hunters part-blinded by the military
28 June 2010

THE first of the asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS telescopes is now on the lookout for threatening near-Earth objects, but its vision is impaired due to the US military.

From its perch atop the Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, PS1's mammoth, 1400-megapixel camera should uncover 100,000 new asteroids and identify any that are on a collision course with Earth. However, the US air force, which funded the development of the telescope, requires that software automatically black out a swathe of pixels to hide the trajectories of passing satellites.

Last year this restriction, plus other shortcomings, meant that just 68 per cent of the total sky imaged produced usable pictures. As of March, improvements in image processing have boosted that figure to 76 per cent, says team member Eric Bell. Still, the asteroid hunters have had to add an extra set of observations for certain patches of sky to compensate for the possibility that an object might whizz by undetected.
 
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Valcan

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rockett":1f0nmyt4 said:
This is an inciteful article that has a very realistic view of this issue:

Visiting an asteroid: What's the point?
There's no clear incentive to support an expensive manned space program
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38015349/ns/technology_and_science-science/
I try not to go to fox new, msnbc, cbs, abc or any other MSM site. The ignorance there makes leave in about 5 seconds.

I think my favorite coment from one of those (It was msnbc too) was,

"Having a space program is stupid. That money could be better spent on making the inner cities and poor places around the world better. All were doing is furthering the US military industrial complex and its imperialistic ends. SPACE doesnt give us anything but a few satelites and the sun there is nothing up there and there are no aliens to come see us. We need to consentrate on fixing mother earth before we go and nuke the moon or mars which are in pristine condition"
The stupid it hurt.
 
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rockett

Guest
Valcan":2w2kb6rz said:
rockett":2w2kb6rz said:
This is an inciteful article that has a very realistic view of this issue:

Visiting an asteroid: What's the point?
There's no clear incentive to support an expensive manned space program
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38015349/ns/technology_and_science-science/
I try not to go to fox new, msnbc, cbs, abc or any other MSM site. The ignorance there makes leave in about 5 seconds.
Actually, Ian O'Neill is a columnist on Discovery News, MSN just reprinted it. Here's the original:
http://news.discovery.com/space/visiting-an-asteroid-whats-the-point.html
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
Valcan":puftorod said:
rockett":puftorod said:
This is an inciteful article that has a very realistic view of this issue:

Visiting an asteroid: What's the point?
There's no clear incentive to support an expensive manned space program
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38015349/ns/technology_and_science-science/
I try not to go to fox new, msnbc, cbs, abc or any other MSM site. The ignorance there makes leave in about 5 seconds.

I think my favorite coment from one of those (It was msnbc too) was,

"Having a space program is stupid. That money could be better spent on making the inner cities and poor places around the world better. All were doing is furthering the US military industrial complex and its imperialistic ends. SPACE doesnt give us anything but a few satelites and the sun there is nothing up there and there are no aliens to come see us. We need to consentrate on fixing mother earth before we go and nuke the moon or mars which are in pristine condition"
The stupid it hurt.
They are trying to fix this lately, but at least for me, it will take some time before i'm ready to expose myself to that junk.
It just ruins my day, or at least a couple of hours, while i try to figure out, how can someone be so stupid. It's like feeding trash to the brains.
They are very good at avoiding unpleasant facts, blowing nonsense and propagating hatred and confusion.
Hatred and stupidity are more or less very close, and i just try to avoid both, unfortunately that is not always possible. I would just like to add, that it is not only American phenomenon, but unfortunately rather wide spread.
I think that people, who believe in supernatural are more willing to accept such nonsense, especially when it is given by someone whom they perceive as authority, and it doesn't really matter in which field.
Sheep thinking, boxed minds.
They also make so much noise, that it is hard to discuss facts and evidence, which is probably purpose of this, since facts and evidence more often than not damage those illusions.

CBS is actually not that bad, and i have read at least a couple of decent articles on ABC, but msnbc, fox, are swamp and FUD spreaders, saying anything, as long as it sells. People prefer sweet dreams to bitter reality, especially when they don't want to invest the time and effort to try and understand the issue on their own. A lot of examples on this forum.

In any case, i usually, or at least when even a bit in a doubt, cross check news from more than one source, and i even use Google translate for that, because in many cases they just quote the same source, which makes it one-sided view.

Internet makes it possible to be able to cross-check information, and i find it a bad taste not to do that, at least for topics which i consider important.
 
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rockett

Guest
EarthlingX":1skyi23j said:
Valcan":1skyi23j said:
rockett":1skyi23j said:
This is an inciteful article that has a very realistic view of this issue:

Visiting an asteroid: What's the point?
There's no clear incentive to support an expensive manned space program
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38015349/ns/technology_and_science-science/
I try not to go to fox new, msnbc, cbs, abc or any other MSM site. The ignorance there makes leave in about 5 seconds.

I think my favorite coment from one of those (It was msnbc too) was,

"Having a space program is stupid. That money could be better spent on making the inner cities and poor places around the world better. All were doing is furthering the US military industrial complex and its imperialistic ends. SPACE doesnt give us anything but a few satelites and the sun there is nothing up there and there are no aliens to come see us. We need to consentrate on fixing mother earth before we go and nuke the moon or mars which are in pristine condition"
The stupid it hurt.
They are trying to fix this lately, but at least for me, it will take some time before i'm ready to expose myself to that junk.
It just ruins my day, or at least a couple of hours, while i try to figure out, how can someone be so stupid. It's like feeding trash to the brains.
They are very good at avoiding unpleasant facts, blowing nonsense and propagating hatred and confusion.
Hatred and stupidity are more or less very close, and i just try to avoid both, unfortunately that is not always possible. I would just like to add, that it is not only American phenomenon, but unfortunately rather wide spread.
I think that people, who believe in supernatural are more willing to accept such nonsense, especially when it is given by someone whom they perceive as authority, and it doesn't really matter in which field.
Sheep thinking, boxed minds.
They also make so much noise, that it is hard to discuss facts and evidence, which is probably purpose of this, since facts and evidence more often than not damage those illusions.

CBS is actually not that bad, and i have read at least a couple of decent articles on ABC, but msnbc, fox, are swamp and FUD spreaders, saying anything, as long as it sells. People prefer sweet dreams to bitter reality, especially when they don't want to invest the time and effort to try and understand the issue on their own. A lot of examples on this forum.

In any case, i usually, or at least when even a bit in a doubt, cross check news from more than one source, and i even use Google translate for that, because in many cases they just quote the same source, which makes it one-sided view.

Internet makes it possible to be able to cross-check information, and i find it a bad taste not to do that, at least for topics which i consider important.
Just curious, did EITHER of you read the article? Or simply dismisss it out of hand.
Thie title is a bit misleadinding, true but here is an excerpt:
Sustainable Space

Sending mankind into deep space to study an asteroid would be a glorious moment in human history, but it can't be just one trip. Planting flags in the surface of the moon in the 1960's and '70's had little impact on the long-term survival of man beyond our own planet. 40 years on and we're still confined to low-Earth orbit. The Apollo era was driven by political ideals, not science or the long-term survival of our species.

If we are to be prepared for a potentially hazardous asteroid aimed at Earth, we need to create an infrastructure that would facilitate easy access to interplanetary space. This can't be a single mission just to say "we did it," we need a sustainable means of accessing space.

"If we're making progress toward goals that are exciting and important to the American people, then it should be a sustainable program," said Laurie Leshin, a NASA official involved in the early planning stages of an asteroid mission.

Let's just hope we've learned from previous lessons that expensive, unsustainable manned missions won't keep us in space. There needs to be committed long-term investment, not just from governments, but from the burgeoning commercial space industry. Perhaps then we will have the capability to deal with whatever the Universe decides to throw at us.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
scottb50":259ma3fs said:
MeteorWayne":259ma3fs said:
Rather a naive view of comets (no insult intended there). Many are on near parabolic orbits, so you can't intercept them far enough away (Outside of Jupiter's orbit, before they are dicovered) to make any significant difference in their path.
I would think if you intercept it anywhere before it hits you would have a chance of changing the orbit.
I stand by my statement. Look at the actual physics. Can you change the orbit? Sure. By how much? 20 miles isn't going to make much of a difference on a Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud comet making it's first visit to the inner solar system. So it hits Berlin instead of London, or Boston instead of NYC. The net effect is the same.
 
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Valcan

Guest
MeteorWayne":1v5njol6 said:
Rather a naive view of comets (no insult intended there). Many are on near parabolic orbits, so you can't intercept them far enough away (Outside of Jupiter's orbit, before they are dicovered) to make any significant difference in their path.
I would think if you intercept it anywhere before it hits you would have a chance of changing the orbit.[/quote]

I stand by my statement. Look at the actual physics. Can you change the orbit? Sure. By how much? 20 miles isn't going to make much of a difference on a Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud comet making it's first visit to the inner solar system. So it hits Berlin instead of London, or Boston instead of NYC. The net effect is the same.[/quote]

So what would you suggest?
 
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scottb50

Guest
HopDavid":3mc3drv0 said:
Valcan":3mc3drv0 said:
So what would you suggest?
If it's short notice and a big comet from the Kuiper or Oort, we're SOL.
Best bet would be to hit it head on or at whatever is the best angle with everything you have. If each nuke slows it enough you could escape being in the wrong place at the right time. All I meant was Comets and asteroids are different but basically the same thing, a fast body flying your way. A lot of asteroids may even have been Comets, or the remnants of them. No-one ever said a Comet had to be a certain size either, just solid and heavy.

Comets can take 100,000 or more years to orbit the Sun, in 5000 years or so, we have recorded quite a few and the dispersal seems to be show they could come from anywhere at any time. maybe in 95,000 years we can say we have found and charted most of them.

An asteroid might be good for an annual display, blow it up at the right time and every year you pass through it's remains.
 
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