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[WP] After meteor blast in Russia, Laurel lab plans to smack an asteroid

post #1 of 4
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Researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory are preparing a decade-long, $350 million project to propel a rocket into the asteroid Didymos as it passes close to Earth. If successful, it would be the first time an asteroid is knocked off course by human intervention....

Cheng said he developed a plan for a lower-cost test for smacking an asteroid as a way to revive a shelved European effort.

The conceptual study has support from NASA and the European Space Agency. They jointly published an initial plan for the project in May. If the plan goes forward, NASA would help Cheng’s group fund and launch “the impactor.” The ESA, which announced this month a call for research ideas on the mission, would launch a second spacecraft to assess the impact and its effect.

After meteor blast in Russia, Laurel lab plans to smack an asteroid
 
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post #2 of 4
I hope they team up with Nokia. Our lives is at stake! biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 4
I just hope knocking an asteroid doesn't make it change course and hit a planet with life, or worse an even bigger Astorid and ripple effect huge one going right for us
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGX1016 View Post

I just hope knocking an asteroid doesn't make it change course and hit a planet with life, or worse an even bigger Astorid and ripple effect huge one going right for us
Like Starship Troopers, only we're the ones throwing asteroids! We can fairly assume that there's no other sentient life in our solar system and that exoplanets can't sustain large lifeforms without an energy source (thermal vents can only go so far), and with the next closest star being 4.37 lightyears away, it'd be a few millenia before it impacted that planet, and probably a few centuries for that planet to retroactively trace it back to our solar system, then a century or so for them to get here... I'd say it's not something to even consider.

The only thing that we'd have to worry about is the chance of deflecting it onto a path where either itself or it bumped something out of the asteroid belt is slingshot around Jupiter or Saturn and comes back for us. But even then, that's less than a 1 degree angle for either to happen without a spectacular game of pinball in the asteroid belt. Though, on some level, it'd be almost poetic if we advanced to the point where we incidentally played pinball with asteroids and caused an extinction event.
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