[ExI] (NASA.gov) NASA to chronicle close Earth flyby of asteroid (fwd)

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Sat Feb 16 21:10:30 UTC 2013

On Sat, 16 Feb 2013, spike wrote:

> >... On Behalf Of Tomasz Rola...
> >... Ok, but if we set up perimeter at Moon's orbit, this gives about 4-5h
> alert time before impact. Should be enough to prepare some a-a
> rocket...Regards,
> Tomasz Rola
> --
> OK, assume it into existence.  For the sake of thought experiments, assume
> any advance warning you wish, and any existing or feasible future rocket you
> want.  Now what?  If you had in mind putting a nuke aboard and trying to
> blast the rock into gravel, keep in mind the relative velocity.  We have no
> current technology that would detonate a nuke with a tight enough precision
> to do much to a meteoroid.  For instance, if we manage to get the trigger
> tech to plus or minus one millisecond, that is plus or minus a couple of
> kilometers.  If the nuke is more than a few meters away at detonation, the
> rock would scarcely notice, and even if we manage a perfect detonation, it
> isn't clear to me it would break up the meteoroid.
> spike

Spike, I did not mean using nukes. They may be handy in some situations, 
but in this case (10-100m impactors) I would like to try classic solution 
first. Ram it, blow it, slow it down. And I wouldn't object if Earth had 
some kind of "reactive armor" made of radars and missiles (to begin with 
something). AFAIK an explosion in right place and time can change quite a 
lot. Ask any modern tank.

The problem with blowing things in space is, I guess, majority of our 
know-how assumes there is some kind of medium in which explosion takes 
place. In space, no medium, so an entire branch of research is needed. Or 
at least few carefully planned experiments.

As of hit-or-miss problem, predators and NBA players somehow manage to 
solve it. Tennis player can meet the ball despite more than 3x speed 
difference. How about this: state a problem -> some research, some 
engineering -> solution! Of course it would be difficult. Just like any 
nontrivial thing done in the last few centuries. But I don't think it 
requires AI to solve this one. BTW, we as a species are still capable of 
problem solving, are we? Or are we only capable of building falsebook and 
other virtual mating spaces?

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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