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Asteroid/Comet Impact Defenses


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#1
Revolutionary Moderate

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Right now, the only thing protecting us from asteroids and comets big enough to cause the extinction of humanity is the estimated time between impacts big enough to cause our extinction. So, we better build some defenses to protect ourselves from asteroids and comets because even small ones are dangerous as they could destroy an entire city. So, what sorts of things do you all think we will build to protect ourselves from asteroids and comets.


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#2
andmar74

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Well, comets come from the outer parts of the solar system, where they are perturbed by something and falls towards the inner solar system. This means we could face a comet impact with just a few months warning. The size of a comet is typically 10 km in diameter. I don't think there's anything that can stop a comet in that short timeframe. Maybe nukes.



#3
Raklian

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Well, comets come from the outer parts of the solar system, where they are perturbed by something and falls towards the inner solar system. This means we could face a comet impact with just a few months warning. The size of a comet is typically 10 km in diameter. I don't think there's anything that can stop a comet in that short timeframe. Maybe nukes.

 

Check the composition of the comet to see if it can stay mostly intact after detonating a nuke next to it. 

 

Or shoot a laser at its side so the vaporized ice water creates a small force shifting the comet's trajectory a bit. Again, in involves checking its composition beforehand.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#4
wjfox

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Asteroids may be harder to destroy than previously thought

 

https://www.futureti...g/2019/03/6.htm

 

 



#5
wjfox

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Perhaps one option would be to launch a probe – or a cluster of probes – designed to land on the surface, drill down several metres, and build a small nuclear power plant.

 

The energy from that plant could then be used for producing a second, more powerful drilling system, designed to tunnel more deeply, extract materials, and launch them off into space via some sort of high-speed ejection mechanism.

 

The asteroid or comet's mass could be reduced by a few hundred tons each day, perhaps enough to nudge its orbit away from Earth's path.

 

This would be entirely automated, of course, and would likely need hundreds of billions of dollars in R&D, but is just about within the realms of what's technically feasible. Given the existential threat posed, world leaders would have few qualms in contributing to such a project, though it would likely require a few years to develop.

 

Hopefully that scenario doesn't arise in the near future, but a large asteroid approaching Earth is inevitable at some point. In the meantime, we should be working towards establishing an observation system with 99.9%+ coverage of the Solar System, to look out for any threats. The B612 Foundation had a very interesting project a few years back, but the funding seems to have dried up.



#6
andmar74

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Well, comets come from the outer parts of the solar system, where they are perturbed by something and falls towards the inner solar system. This means we could face a comet impact with just a few months warning. The size of a comet is typically 10 km in diameter. I don't think there's anything that can stop a comet in that short timeframe. Maybe nukes.

 

Check the composition of the comet to see if it can stay mostly intact after detonating a nuke next to it. 

 

Or shoot a laser at its side so the vaporized ice water creates a small force shifting the comet's trajectory a bit. Again, in involves checking its composition beforehand.

 

Probably there's not enough time, we only have a few months if the comet strikes at first passage.



#7
Raklian

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Well, comets come from the outer parts of the solar system, where they are perturbed by something and falls towards the inner solar system. This means we could face a comet impact with just a few months warning. The size of a comet is typically 10 km in diameter. I don't think there's anything that can stop a comet in that short timeframe. Maybe nukes.

 

Check the composition of the comet to see if it can stay mostly intact after detonating a nuke next to it. 

 

Or shoot a laser at its side so the vaporized ice water creates a small force shifting the comet's trajectory a bit. Again, in involves checking its composition beforehand.

 

Probably there's not enough time, we only have a few months if the comet strikes at first passage.

 

 

Right, which is all the more reason to have a joint collaboration between nations to set up a base on the Moon and then set up the infrastructure for deflecting comets or asteroids there so we're ready for them at a moment's notice.


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#8
Ethan13

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Now they are actively creating space tugs to combat space debris in orbit. Tugs or service satellites can correct the trajectory of the satellites. I think we just need nuclear space tugs that could correct the trajectory of asteroids and comets. Nuclear to have enough energy to correct the trajectory of a large body.



#9
andmar74

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Now they are actively creating space tugs to combat space debris in orbit. Tugs or service satellites can correct the trajectory of the satellites. I think we just need nuclear space tugs that could correct the trajectory of asteroids and comets. Nuclear to have enough energy to correct the trajectory of a large body.

Yes we need something like that. There's no question that if we detect a large comet on collision course with Earth, that's a crazy and horrific situation to be in. We need something with low response time that can give a huge punch. In the article below they suggest two spacecraft are built before we detect anything. One "Interceptor" and one "observer". The observer is launched immediately to investigate. We need to see what we are dealing with. Then the Interceptor with nukes is off to stop it. Will it be built? Probably not.

Now, maybe we have rockets that can be launched at short notice (SpaceX?), I don't know how fast nukes can be ready.

https://www.scientif...incoming-comet/






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