Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Wanted: Man to land on Killer Asteroid and gently nudge it from path to Earth
www.guardian.co.uk ^ | Friday November 17, 2006 | David Adam

Posted on 11/17/2006 5:15:39 AM PST by Esther Ruth

Wanted: man to land on killer asteroid and gently nudge it from path to Earth

David Adam Friday November 17, 2006

It is the stuff of nightmares and, until now, Hollywood thrillers. A huge asteroid is on a catastrophic collision course with Earth and mankind is poised to go the way of the dinosaurs. To save the day, Nasa now plans to go where only Bruce Willis has gone before. The US space agency is drawing up plans to land an astronaut on an asteroid hurtling through space at more than 30,000 mph. It wants to know whether humans could master techniques needed to deflect such a doomsday object when it is eventually identified. The proposals are at an early stage, and a spacecraft needed just to send an astronaut that far into space exists only on the drawing board, but they are deadly serious. A smallish asteroid called Apophis has already been identified as a possible threat to Earth in 2036.

Chris McKay of the Nasa Johnson Space Centre in Houston told the website Space.com: "There's a lot of public resonance with the notion that Nasa ought to be doing something about killer asteroids ... to be able to send serious equipment to an asteroid.

"The public wants us to have mastered the problem of dealing with asteroids. So being able to have astronauts go out there and sort of poke one with a stick would be scientifically valuable as well as demonstrate human capabilities."

A 1bn tonne asteroid just 1km across striking the Earth at a 45 degree angle could generate the equivalent of a 50,000 megatonne thermonuclear explosion. Attempting to break it up with an atomic warhead might only generate thousands of smaller objects on a similar course, which could have time to reform.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: asteroid; brucewillis
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-99 next last

1 posted on 11/17/2006 5:15:42 AM PST by Esther Ruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Superman will save us.


2 posted on 11/17/2006 5:16:37 AM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?


3 posted on 11/17/2006 5:18:19 AM PST by squidward
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

excerpts

Matt Genge, a space researcher at Imperial College, London, has calculated that something with the mass, acceleration and thrust of a small car could push an asteroid weighing a billion tonnes out of the path of Earth in just 75 days.

Gianmarco Radice, an asteroid expert at Glasgow University, said the best approach would be to land a device to dig into the object. "You could place something on the surface to eject material that would push the asteroid in the other direction."

Mirrors, lights and even paint could change the way the object absorbed light and heat enough to shift its direction over 20 years or so. With less notice, mankind could be forced to take more drastic measures, such as setting off a massive explosion on or near the object to change its course. In 2005, Nasa's Deep Impact mission tested a different technique when it placed an object into the path of a comet.

Dr Radice said robots could do the job just as well, doing away with the need for a risky and expensive manned mission. Last year Japan showed with its Hayabusa probe that a remote spacecraft can land on an asteroid.

But with manned missions to the moon and possibly Mars on its to-do list again, Nasa is keen to extend the reach of its astronauts.



***

Europe has its own efforts to tackle asteroids. Its planned Don Quijote mission will launch two robot spacecraft, one to tilt at a harmless passing space rock, and a second to film the collision and watch for any deviation in the asteroid's path.


'Not if, but when...' Hits and near misses


At Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in California, scientists monitor all "potentially hazardous asteroids" that might one day end up on a collision course with Earth. So far they number 831. The next close-ish shave - at a mere 17 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth - will be asteroid 2004QD14 on November 29.

***

A near miss, when asteroid QW7 came within 4m km of Earth in September 2000, led Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik to declare: "It's not a case of if we will be hit, it is a question of when. Each of us is 750 times more likely to be killed by an asteroid than to win this weekend's lottery."


4 posted on 11/17/2006 5:18:36 AM PST by Esther Ruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: squidward
You beat me to it.

Pagin Bruce Willis.... lol

5 posted on 11/17/2006 5:18:57 AM PST by sweet_diane ("They hate us 'cause they ain't us.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Which is probably one among many things that has started the push for space tech. in the last couple of years.


6 posted on 11/17/2006 5:19:32 AM PST by Post-Neolithic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: squidward

7 posted on 11/17/2006 5:20:46 AM PST by Esther Ruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Science education has failed there also.

Either we are equal or we are not. Good people should be armed where they will, with wits and guns. NRA KMA


8 posted on 11/17/2006 5:21:34 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

I would like to volunteer my ex husband for this mission.


9 posted on 11/17/2006 5:22:27 AM PST by dforest (Don't get fooled, the bigger struggle is still out there, and growing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Chuck Norris would just have to give it a nasty look.


10 posted on 11/17/2006 5:22:40 AM PST by freedomlover (Sorry, a tagline occurred. The tagline has been logged.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Years ago in the '70s, there was a project called "Project Icarus" that studied it.

Net result is that if we know long enough in advance, a couple well placed nukes could nudge the orbit.

But we can't be blindsided by something and only have a weeks time to work on it.


11 posted on 11/17/2006 5:23:18 AM PST by djf (Islam!! There's a flag on the moon! Guess whose? Hint: Not yours!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

John Kerry has already weighed in on the issue with this statement, "You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in on a killer asteroid."


12 posted on 11/17/2006 5:23:24 AM PST by MaryFromMichigan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brilliant

Will Chuck Norris suffice?


13 posted on 11/17/2006 5:24:19 AM PST by 7thson (I've got a seat at the big conference table! I'm gonna paint my logo on it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Reagan's Star War technology looks pretty tame compared to this. The Dims will not fund this. Homeless people et al are in need now, not 2036. But wait, maybe George Lucas can talk them into it.


14 posted on 11/17/2006 5:24:25 AM PST by moonman (`)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

I will go if selected! I have no fear of anything, for my LORD will guide and proect me!


15 posted on 11/17/2006 5:24:37 AM PST by TMSuchman (American by birth, Rebel by choice, Marine by act of GOD!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Will there be beer?


16 posted on 11/17/2006 5:24:58 AM PST by The Toll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Brilliant
Superman will save us

Not until we allow that embryonic stem cell research to bring him back to life...

17 posted on 11/17/2006 5:25:52 AM PST by Wil H
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

And the mass of a small car and 75 days of fuel is_______? Now add the mass of the vehicle to get the small car and 75 days of fuel to an asteroid more than 75 days out.

I think I'd rather watch the impact, knowing the Universe just became, over all, much smarter.

Either we are equal or we are not. Good people should be armed where they will, with wits and guns. NRA KMA


18 posted on 11/17/2006 5:26:12 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth
We could shoot Michael Moore at it but I'm not sure that even the Russians have a heavy-lift vehicle of that size.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

19 posted on 11/17/2006 5:26:24 AM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dhuffman@awod.com
If Killer Asteroids are outlawed, only outlaws will have Killer Asteroids...

But, seriesly, I should be drafted for this job. I must have destroyed hundreds of thousands of Killer Asteroids in my mis-spent youth. One quarter at a time...


20 posted on 11/17/2006 5:28:11 AM PST by gridlock (My Prognosticator Unit is busted, and stuck on "ROSY". Predictions may be unreliable.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: indylindy
Hi indylindy-

Is your ex-husband experienced in high-speed asteroid deflection? The reason I ask is because it could be a dangerous mission. He could go missing in deep outer space never to be seen again....or even make the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind.

~ Blue Jays ~

21 posted on 11/17/2006 5:29:29 AM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth
A smallish asteroid called Apophis

Apophis? Call in Jack O'Neill.

22 posted on 11/17/2006 5:31:19 AM PST by Lil'freeper (You do not have the plug-in required to view this tagline.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: indylindy

I volunteer and no I am not lindy's ex husband.

I think it would be cool to sit on top of a controlled explosion, be hurled into the sky at several G's to be thrust at 17,000 miles per hour through the universe, to land on a piece of rock coming at us at 30,000 miles an hour, to dig hundreds of feet through jagged iron and rock, to plant a nuclear charge that will rip the asteroid to shreds and prevent it from hitting our planet.

So that the Democrats can give it over to the UN to administer.


23 posted on 11/17/2006 5:31:30 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (I thank the RNC for freeing me to vote my values rather then political party. It is liberating!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: squidward
Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

Yeah, only this time, they should make the guy below stay behind and blow hisself up. Of course, a liberal ahole would never sacrifice himself to save mankind.

That would have been a fun movie if Affleck hadn't been in it (and hadn't gotten the girl, Liv Tyler).

24 posted on 11/17/2006 5:32:03 AM PST by benjaminjjones (Happy Thanksgiving all! Go home, see the family, eat too much, & hava safe trip. Turducken Rules!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

I can't wait for the sudden arrival of "space environmentalists" who will get upset at human beings upsetting the natural order of things out in space akin to dumping toxic chemicals into a river, and blowing asteroids into pieces as target practice akin to something like deer hunting.


25 posted on 11/17/2006 5:32:13 AM PST by BaBaStooey (I heart Emma Caulfield.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gridlock

Ya'but 'low mass killer asteroids.' These high mass killer asteroids are deja vue all over again. Like glow-ball warning for the gullah-bull.

Either we are equal or we are not. Good people should be armed where they will, with wits and guns. NRA KMA


26 posted on 11/17/2006 5:32:48 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

What the heck......I'll go.


27 posted on 11/17/2006 5:32:53 AM PST by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MaryFromMichigan

Cute turtle, by the way!


28 posted on 11/17/2006 5:34:00 AM PST by stayathomemom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

We need a Terminator to meet the Destroyer!

Apophis the Destroyer- coming soon to a planet near you!

(One bet - the agencies monitoring this thing or theres of similar threat capability will be very nonchalant and dismissive of its threat until the obvious is staring us in the face)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article/0,14493,1660485,00.html


29 posted on 11/17/2006 5:35:15 AM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth
A huge asteroid is on a catastrophic collision course with Earth and mankind is poised to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Bush's fault.

30 posted on 11/17/2006 5:35:41 AM PST by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Why should the USA save the rest of the world?


31 posted on 11/17/2006 5:38:45 AM PST by US_MilitaryRules (Time to eradicated islambs and mooselimbs! GO PTSC)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: squidward

Wouldn't you much rather send 'Arnuld'?


32 posted on 11/17/2006 5:40:18 AM PST by DugwayDuke (Conservative have so many principles that they won't even vote for themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth
Asteroids? But, what about Uranus?...


33 posted on 11/17/2006 5:40:37 AM PST by Hatteras
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth
You gotta be kidding me.

We have a better chance if an astronaut "sort of poke one with a stick, but not with a "50,000 megatonne thermonuclear explosion"

34 posted on 11/17/2006 5:42:24 AM PST by The Bronze Titan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

I'll be 91 in 2036, good Lord willing, I'll do it!


35 posted on 11/17/2006 5:42:33 AM PST by exnavy (God does not require anyone to blow themselves to enter heaven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Calling Harry Stamper!


36 posted on 11/17/2006 5:43:38 AM PST by rintense (Liberals stand for nothing and are against everything- unless it benefits them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

Unnecessary! All we need is for Chuck Norris to divert it with one angry glance. Or give it a roundhouse kick back out into space.


37 posted on 11/17/2006 5:44:49 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Prayers for our patriot brother, 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub. Brian, we're all pulling for you!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
Years ago in the '70s, there was a project called "Project Icarus" that studied it.

Net result is that if we know long enough in advance, a couple well placed nukes could nudge the orbit.

But we can't be blindsided by something and only have a weeks time to work on it.

te problem is that in the '70's we didn'y know much about the structure of asteroids. A nuke may nudge it, or it may shatter it so we get carpet bombed by dozens of smaller asteroids. The current thinking is that some, possibly many, asteroids may be more like giant gravel piles losely held together by gravity than solid, hard objects. You blow them up and gravity just re-condenses them. It's better to find a gentle way of steering them than hitting them with a hammer. Sending astronauts there is a good first step in learning more about these objects and how we can manipulate their course.

38 posted on 11/17/2006 5:45:00 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what an Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MaryFromMichigan

You get the gold star for the day...


39 posted on 11/17/2006 5:47:14 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

John Kerry voted for the asteroid, before he voted against it.


40 posted on 11/17/2006 5:48:24 AM PST by YourAdHere (Democrats still stink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blue Jays

It would be a noble thing for humanity.I suppose he is capable of learning fast or perhaps he could just stay at a Holiday Inn prior to the mission!


41 posted on 11/17/2006 5:49:55 AM PST by dforest (Don't get fooled, the bigger struggle is still out there, and growing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Hatteras

I hear the homo's are experts with black holes.


42 posted on 11/17/2006 5:51:26 AM PST by johnny7 ("We took a hell of a beating." -'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz

Is that what will happen? This is far too severe!


43 posted on 11/17/2006 5:51:35 AM PST by dforest (Don't get fooled, the bigger struggle is still out there, and growing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: squidward
Right here...


44 posted on 11/17/2006 5:52:34 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner ("Si vis pacem para bellum")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

It would only take a small booster rocket attached to the surface of the asteroid to redirect its course.


45 posted on 11/17/2006 5:53:14 AM PST by Teflonic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: squidward

Michael Moore brings more momentum... Can we launch preemptively?!? ;-P


46 posted on 11/17/2006 5:53:35 AM PST by MortMan (I was going to be indecisive, but I changed my mind.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

John Edwards could send his staff volunteer


47 posted on 11/17/2006 5:53:51 AM PST by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Esther Ruth

bump


48 posted on 11/17/2006 5:54:19 AM PST by JamesP81 (Rights must be enforced; rights that you're not allowed to enforce are rights that you don't have.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lil'freeper

Huh? I thought they already killed Apophis.


49 posted on 11/17/2006 5:54:25 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: johnny7

Sorry, you are on the wrong thread.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1740161/posts?page=41#41

Better.


50 posted on 11/17/2006 5:57:51 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (I thank the RNC for freeing me to vote my values rather then political party. It is liberating!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-99 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson