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New spacecraft could nuke incoming asteroids

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South Alabam

Anything is better than nothing at all. And that sounds good.

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Alien Origins
3 hours ago, South Alabam said:

Anything is better than nothing at all. And that sounds good.

Yeah it does sound good...Only problem I see here, especially if its on a collision course with Earth is the debris....Blowing it up then creates a hail storm of smaller rocks...Granted they may not do as much damage but they are still dangerous.

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aearluin
3 hours ago, South Alabam said:

Anything is better than nothing at all. And that sounds good.

My thoughts exactly. Great news that we now have a real plan to face this kind of threat. Of course conspiracy nuts will say this proves NASA is preping up for the arrival of Nibiru...

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RoofGardener

Hmmm.... an orbital nuclear weapons platform ? 
One that could launch nuclear weapons against targets on Earth, WITHOUT using an orbital booster rocket that would give tell-tale signs of its flight ? (and target). 

A perfect "first strike" weapon that nullifies conventional 'early warning' systems ? 

I can see SOME objections to this from the Russians and Chinese ? :P

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seanjo

If we catch an asteroid early enough, a high-velocity impact to change it's course slightly would probably be enough.

 

Not sure how a Nuke would work unless you actually detonate it on the surface or very close.

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 hour ago, seanjo said:

Not sure how a Nuke would work unless you actually detonate it on the surface or very close.

You detonate it above the surface, that vaporises material on the surface of the asteroid. The vapourised material actd like a thruster, changing the orbit of asteroid.

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Grandpa Greenman

I think it is a good idea to test whatever they are going to try before we actually need it.  Thank Waspie_Dwarf for clearing that up for us.  I got a question,  how hard would it be to put one into a stable orbit making another moon? 

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RoofGardener
59 minutes ago, Grandpa Greenman said:

I think it is a good idea to test whatever they are going to try before we actually need it.  Thank Waspie_Dwarf for clearing that up for us.  I got a question,  how hard would it be to put one into a stable orbit making another moon? 

Very tricky I would imagine, Grandpa Greenman. You'd have to keep decelerating/accelerating it into the right orbit. WITHOUT fracturing it. 

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Farmer77

Probably not gonna be a popular opinion BUT: 

No No No. 

When NASA has its own damn income it can do this kind of crap, until then lets worry about things like our crumbling infrastructure, our embarrassing education system and our nation's failing health. 

 

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RoofGardener
1 minute ago, Farmer77 said:

Probably not gonna be a popular opinion BUT: 

No No No. 

When NASA has its own damn income it can do this kind of crap, until then lets worry about things like our crumbling infrastructure, our embarrassing education system and our nation's failing health. 

Good plan. The infrastructure will definitely crumble if an asteroid hits. And I would imagine there might be health implications.  Well... certainly for the people directly UNDER the asteroid. From that point of view, the idea is a VERY good one. 

The problem for me is - as I've already intimated - a viable anti-asteroid system would also make a GREAT political repression system. You could use it to bombard any location on Earth during the quiet periods inbetween asteroids, and it would be very difficult to detect - let alone deflect - the incoming 'hammers'. 

If you control the high orbitals, you control the planet. This is basic Space Marine doctrine !

 

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Farmer77
Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

Good plan. The infrastructure will definitely crumble if an asteroid hits. And I would imagine there might be health implications.  Well... certainly for the people directly UNDER the asteroid. From that point of view, the idea is a VERY good one. 

While I definitely understand your point I'm just sick and tired of watching the DOD waste money and while I don't know the odds of an asteroid hitting the earth off the top of my head I think they're probably enough that I'm comfortable not spending my money on such a thing

 

24 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

The problem for me is - as I've already intimated - a viable anti-asteroid system would also make a GREAT political repression system. You could use it to bombard any location on Earth during the quiet periods inbetween asteroids, and it would be very difficult to detect - let alone deflect - the incoming 'hammers'. 

If you control the high orbitals, you control the planet. This is basic Space Marine doctrine !

 Theres a documentary called America Freedom to Fascism and in it the director talks of his friendship with some of the Rockefeller family and of the things they told him. 

The one thing that really stuck with me from that was the director Aaron Russo's claim that Rockefeller told him that after the end of the cold war the DOD would use terrorism to justify their budget and when that excuse grew old they would use space as their excuse to have to suck funds from the economy. 

IDK if there's any veracity to the overall story or not but any time I hear about NASA researching technology to protect us from space alarm bells ring a little. 

Its a decent watch mostly about the IRS but it kinda delves into some of the standard conspiracy fare 

America Freedom to Fascism

Anyways, yeah I have that same concern as you about military application, in addition to being concerned that factions within the DOD use programs like this to essentially launder money. 

Edited by Farmer77

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Alien Origins
6 hours ago, seanjo said:

If we catch an asteroid early enough, a high-velocity impact to change it's course slightly would probably be enough.

 

Not sure how a Nuke would work unless you actually detonate it on the surface or very close.

Yeah...But you have to have enough data as far as orbit, speed and other factors....Nudging it off course is great they just have to be sure that they alter the orbit enough so that when it comes back around it don't get us!

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Grandpa Greenman
1 hour ago, Farmer77 said:

Probably not gonna be a popular opinion BUT: 

No No No. 

When NASA has its own damn income it can do this kind of crap, until then lets worry about things like our crumbling infrastructure, our embarrassing education system and our nation's failing health. 

 

When we stop doing all the wars and quit investing so much money in how to kill people, we might be able to do those things and do space.  NASA is breaking the budget, poor people aren't breaking the budget, it is the corporate military money machine that is sucking us dry.  We need to keep up with space technology or we are going end up with everybody else's grandkids will be up there making money and our grandkids will be working a Walmart. (and living at home. )

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seanjo

Conflict brings innovation.

 

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seanjo
6 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

You detonate it above the surface, that vaporises material on the surface of the asteroid. The vapourised material actd like a thruster, changing the orbit of asteroid.

I kinda said that.

 

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Grandpa Greenman
15 hours ago, seanjo said:

Conflict brings innovation.

 

Innovations in murder. Innovations in prosthetics. Was the Afghan and  Iraq war worth destroying our economy, because that was what it did? Cooperation also brings innovation without the consequences war.        

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Silent Trinity

I think a far more effective method would be to get Harry Stamper and the boys into training now....

 

maxresdefault.thumb.jpg.a204f853c243aaf5e826ca481cc56b44.jpg

 

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Peter B
Posted (edited)
On 3/13/2018 at 8:15 AM, Farmer77 said:

While I definitely understand your point I'm just sick and tired of watching the DOD waste money and while I don't know the odds of an asteroid hitting the earth off the top of my head I think they're probably enough that I'm comfortable not spending my money on such a thing

The thing is, when it comes to risk assessment, the matrix has two axes. One axis is the likelihood of the Bad Thing happening. The other axis is the effect if the Bad Thing does actually happen.

In the case of an asteroid impact, sure, the likelihood is minuscule. But if it does happen, the effect is likely to be extremely serious. Look at a risk assessment matrix, and the risk rating is higher than you might suspect.

Put it all together, and researching ways to protect us against asteroid impact is quite rational.

ETA: That doesn't necessarily mean this method is the best; there are other (non-nuclear) ideas floating around (some of them almost literally).

Edited by Peter B
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Peter B
On 3/12/2018 at 9:01 AM, Alien Origins said:

Yeah it does sound good...Only problem I see here, especially if its on a collision course with Earth is the debris....Blowing it up then creates a hail storm of smaller rocks...Granted they may not do as much damage but they are still dangerous.

A good point, except it depends on how far away the rock is when it's nuked: the further away the less debris will collide with the Earth.

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Sir Smoke aLot

If it's strong enough to vaporize it but not strong enough to mess up environment on Earth it might be the best option for defense. Well, aside from the fact that it's the only option :D

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Alien Origins
10 hours ago, Peter B said:

A good point, except it depends on how far away the rock is when it's nuked: the further away the less debris will collide with the Earth.

Well my guess is they would have to spot it at least 10 years out...You know how slow NASA is? By the time they get the thing up it may be to late.

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Peter B
12 hours ago, Alien Origins said:

Well my guess is they would have to spot it at least 10 years out...You know how slow NASA is? By the time they get the thing up it may be to late.

Slow? Sure, they're slow with things that have to operate in alien environments, and for which there isn't any significant problem if there's a delay. Project Apollo shows how fast NASA could operate when they only had an artificial deadline and buckets of money. If there was an asteroid Earth-bound, I think the purse-strings would be opened even more, and NASA would be even faster.

In any case, I'm pretty sure NASA wouldn't stop at building just one such spacecraft - what's the harm in building two...or even ten? Nothing like a little redundancy when civilisation as we know it is on the line.

Finally, any object large enough to cause catastrophic damage is going to be fairly easy to spot a long way away. Plus, I suspect (though I might be wrong) that most Earth-bound rocks are likely to be in some sort of elliptical orbit around the Sun, meaning they're likely to make a few passes by Earth before they actually collide. That gives us more time to spot them while they're close but not going to collide.

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Alien Origins

Coming in from the Sun makes them harder to spot...The Cheblinsky meteor is a fine example of that.....And I agree I am sure they would build more than one.

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/nda/

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Piney
On 3/12/2018 at 9:59 AM, RoofGardener said:

Hmmm.... an orbital nuclear weapons platform ? 

The U.S. already put one up there according to some sources. But it's pointed downward. 

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