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

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Feb 17 12:52:38 UTC 2013

On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 02:33:27PM -0800, spike wrote:

> Tomasz ja, but be careful not to carry over analogies that don't work very
> well.  The tank is way down here at the bottom of a sea of air, where the
> shock waves from any explosion do most of the heavy lifting of wrecking
> stuff and transferring momentum.  In the vacuum of space a nuke doesn't do
> much.

Asymmetric ablation of surface regolith provides a lot of push, 
especially if you detonate quite a few such devices (a nuke
is very cheap).

The ablation event is sufficiently soft so that even a rubble
pile will have received some impact momentum. Another advantage:
the reaction mass is all sourced in situ.

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