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Asteroid deflection mission seeks ideas

Posted on Wednesday, 16 January, 2013 | Comment icon 38 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: ESA

The European Space Agency is appealing for ideas for a future mission to study asteroid deflection.

The concept of sending a crew on a mission to prevent a catastrophic asteroid impact has been explored in science fiction for years in movies such as 'Armageddon' and 'Deep Impact', but in reality how close are we to such a solution ? In an effort to work towards a method to save us from a possible threat from space, the European Space Agency is seeking research ideas for a joint US–European mission called AIDA that will send two probes to collide with asteroids.

It is hoped that the results will provide enough data to determine whether it would be possible for a probe to alter the course of an asteroid. Because both spacecraft will be able to operate independently, one of them will still be able to complete the mission if the other fails. "Both missions become better when put together - getting much more out of the overall investment," said mission study manager Andrés Gálvez. "And the vast amounts of data coming from the joint mission should help to validate various theories, such as our impact modelling."

"A space rock several hundred metres across is heading towards our planet and the last-ditch attempt to avert a disaster – an untested mission to deflect it – fails."

  View: Full article |  Source: ESA

  Discuss: View comments (38)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #29 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 21 February, 2013, 21:34
And you are going to provide sources to back this up? Of course you can't because you are just making stuff up again. I, on the other hand, will provide sources. Here is an extract from wikipedia about asteroid mining: Notice that none of these options use all of the asteroid and only the last one uses most of it and that option requires modifying the orbit of the asteroid. Remarkably similar to what I said here: More importantly notice that the second option, processing in situ, which is what you are suggesting, brings back "only processed materials". There are two compa... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by Seeker79 on 21 February, 2013, 23:16
Create several space stations in very very far orbits. With nuclear reactors like in submarines. The entire space station is a powerful class IV Pulse Laser. Point the laser at the offending object, upon striking it there will be powerfull out gasing thereby deflecting the asteroid. All of this is doable with today's technology and the stations do not even have to be maned. Essentially large satalights
Comment icon #31 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 21 February, 2013, 23:32
The problem with this is you are underestimating the enormous number of stations you would need. Asteroids and comets can appear from all directions at any time. It would be far simpler to rendezvous with the asteroid and then fire a laser from a spacecraft in the same orbit. It would need a far less powerful laser as it would be able to fire over a much shorter distance at what would be (from the point of view of the satellite) a stationary target, rather than attempting to hit something travelling at many tens of thousands of miles per hour from distances of (potentially) many millions of ... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by danielost on 22 February, 2013, 17:52
Dwarf you might want to reread option 3. By the way the waste from mining is over burden(what every you don't want.) and heavy metal run off water( dn't think that would be a problem in space.) Slag is the waste from smelting. Shouldn't be a problem just to send it into the sun. (Sorry I am using a tablet. Can't copy and paste.)
Comment icon #33 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 23 February, 2013, 11:15
Which part of Option 3 are you not understanding? Is it the fact that option 3 involves placing the asteroid in Earth orbit first before mining (i.e. effectively deflecting it) that you can't understand, or maybe it is the word "most". Option 3 involves the changing of the asteroids orbit and still leaves some waste. This is EXACTLY what I said. Please point out how it differs from what I said here: Option 3 DOES NOT involve mining an asteroid whilst it is in it's original orbit. It is not, therefore an option for protecting the Earth from an asteroid on a collision c... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by danielost on 23 February, 2013, 17:27
You will do nything to call me stupid. The only difference between what I suggested and option three is moving the rock into orbit. I think it would be easier to mine it in place than move it. Any waste can either be sent to burn up in the sun or burn up the atmo. You should able to use up to 90% of the rock. And if you can't droo it into the sun. You have at least turned a big problem into a much smaller one. Thus instead of an extinction level event, you might end up with a city killer. But likely one like the one over Russia. Yes, people got hurt, but one died. At least the last time I ... [More]
Comment icon #35 Posted by danielost on 23 February, 2013, 17:33
To answer you, your other point. According to your methiod it could take years to move it with a tracter or hitting with pellets or lasers and you have to worry about again and again and again. That might 100 of years between agains that is true. But, my way gets rid of the problem.
Comment icon #36 Posted by DONTEATUS on 24 February, 2013, 21:29
Could it be as simple as just the slightest tug,budge,what ever energy it takes to **** its postiton ? THis is what we have to work on,Like being done all around the world today. Lots of minds are crunching the numbers,and ways to defeat such a threat. And Threat it actually IS a Very Large Threat ! I Keep having really bad dreams about our end in this way !
Comment icon #37 Posted by danielost on 24 February, 2013, 23:35
According to the bible only 1/3 of the world.

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