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NASA Plans Armageddon Spacecraft to Blast Asteroids With Nuclear Fusion Warheads

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posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:20 PM
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Using the giant upcoming Ares V rocket, that will also support the Manned Lunar Program, as a launch vehicle NASA has designed a spacecraft that with six interceptor missiles each carrying 1.2 Megaton thermonuclear warheads into deep space. To intercept incoming asteroids? I think I saw this movie before...

For some reason I don't trust them with this project.




NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has designed a nuclear-warhead-carrying spacecraft, to be launched by the US agency's proposed 's Ares V cargo launch vehicle, to deflect an asteroid that could threaten all life on Earth.

The 8.9m (29ft)-long "Cradle" spacecraft would carry six 1,500kg (3,300lb) missile-like interceptor vehicles that would carry one 1.2MT B83 nuclear warhead each, with a total mass of 11,035kg.

Launched by an Ares V, the spacecraft would leave low-Earth orbit using a 45,359kg liquid-oxygen/liquid-hydrogen fuelled "kick stage".

More at Source


I like the giant Space Telescope idea better.

[edit on 5-8-2007 by Malichai]




posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:37 PM
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There are several documentaries made about this.

One is here: imdb.com...

Another was: imdb.com...

Another is found here: imdb.com...

I see no problems other than breaking several treaties in place not to mention some stuff from the technical side. While these documentaries do not have the quality of the often cited youtube video for absolute proof of this or that, you will find these do fill in this obvious need for cited sources.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:47 PM
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Interesting.

I wonder what size asteroid these missiles are designed to deflect.

Be interesting to see what simulations they've done, if they're planning a surface burst, a near approach burst, or trying to embed them into the surface and then detonate them.

I seriously doubt that a 1.2 MT missile, or even several, would do much to even a small asteroid.

There is some evidence that we've suffered more than 50 collision events of asteroids under 100km in size and that these, while still dangerous, have -not- caused mass extinctions. We've found only one event over 100km in size, supposedly causing a mass extinction.

So I'd think that they should be targeting their deflection strategies toward asteroids at the 50-100km size. Something that big would have to be deflected several percent, well beyond a few million miles distance, to have sufficient effect.

What's interesting is that without those periodic extinctions, it appears that evolution may proceed much more slowly. Indeed, the collision with a Mars-sized planet may be responsible for our Moon, and the resultant smoothing out of weather and temperature on the planet.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by hinky
There are several documentaries made about this.


hinky - I hate to burst your bubble, but none of these are "documentaries"


Anyway, I agree that the weaponization of space is probably a very bad idea. I think we would be much better off giving any threatening NEOs a nudge early on to change their course - it doesn't even have to be a nuclear nudge. At least we have 12 or 13 years to come up with something.

The greater danger will come from NEOs which give us no warning, and we are ill prepared to deal with these. IMO the money would be better spent on a space-based platform to monitor for hazardous NEOs coming from the direction of the sun, which we can't see easily from here on Earth, as well as a proper ground based system for monitoring the skies, especially the in Southern hemisphere.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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For those who would like to find out a bit more about this and at least one dissenting opinion:

A link to the NEO JPL webpage where the NEO Report is available in PDF format here.

A dissenting and differing solution set as offered by Dr. Jack "Rusty" Schweickart in a Space.com piece here.

An entire symposium was held on NEO's... at the time no one noticed much. Why this "news" now? I have not seen any contracts let for hardware... and I don't see a line item in the FY' 08 budget request.

Will a "fission" weapon be effective? 6 or more stand-off impactors? I like the other idea better... it would be a good idea to spend more energies on NEO's research of all types before the law of averages catches up...

Please read the Schweickart piece and give it some thought.

Cheers,

Vic

[edit on 5-8-2007 by V Kaminski]



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 04:40 PM
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Why NASA's sudden interest in taking out asteroids over the last 10 years?
Do they know something we don't? That's the real question. Seems an awful lot of time and money for what they see as a slim probability, don't you think?????



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by rocknroll
Why NASA's sudden interest in taking out asteroids over the last 10 years?
Do they know something we don't? That's the real question. Seems an awful lot of time and money for what they see as a slim probability, don't you think?????


I think this project is related to both NEO concerns and the coming availability of the the Ares V launch vehicle.

Now that they will have the ability to launch large objects people are designing systems to take advantage of this capability.


Planning Future Ares V Missions

Wish-list missions for the Ares V range from a 150-meter-wide (492 ft) radio telescope dish to detect whispers from deep space to a 5-meter cube of super-pure water encased in light detectors to assay cosmic rays by their light flashes as they crash through the water. An optical telescope with a primary mirror up to 8 m (26 ft.) in diameter could search star populations in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies for the "fossil record" of their evolution. It could also hunt for "Earthshine spectra," faint signs of life in the light reflected by exoplanets.

More at source


I expect some sort of telescope will be developed and launched. But this asteroid interceptor is only in the design proposal stage. There is a lot of work left to be done. It must pass the administration approval and get congressional funding. Not to mention concerns about violating existing Space Arms treaties which do not allow development let alone deployment.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by V Kaminski
For those who would like to find out a bit more about this and at least one dissenting opinion:


By 'dissenting opinion' I presume you mean against the use of nukes or even explosives.

There have been a number of ideas proposed, from the addition of rockets to jet the NEO off course, to some kind of drogue chute, to slow it down or speed it up out of the way using the solar wind.

I hope it will be one of these 'non-nuke' proposals, since I just can't see the use of explosives detonated on the surface as helping to solve the problem.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by Badge01

I hope it will be one of these 'non-nuke' proposals, since I just can't see the use of explosives detonated on the surface as helping to solve the problem.


They wouldn't try to hit the asteroid. The explosion would be to deflect it just slightly.

Move it just a little now and years later it misses the earth. Both force and time are a factor.

And, if one comes in unexpectedly, a nuke can give far more force over a short period of time.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:06 PM
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The B612 Foundation has some background materials about non-nuke options concerning asteroids/Apophis and a variety of technical and sociologic issues to do with this subject matter.

Those with an interest might wish to visit their press page which has a selection of reports, correspondence, prersentations and news bits, here.

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:08 PM
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They will probably use the satilite as a double agent zapping iran or whoever else.
What a great way to kill two birds with one stone.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Malichai
And, if one comes in unexpectedly, a nuke can give far more force over a short period of time.


Well, we don't even know that for sure. It depends on the composition of the NEO - some can be as dense as hard rock, while others can have the consistency of cigarette ash. There's a danger that they can just soak up the energy like a sponge and not even have their course altered. As V Kaminski says, more research would be a good idea.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Badge01
By 'dissenting opinion' I presume you mean against the use of nukes or even explosives.


I seriously doubt conventional explosives are even on the table here. They are just not feasible. To equal the power of just one of the warheads we are talking about would require at least 12,000 tonnes of explosive, and that's if we have an explosive that's 100 times more powerful than TNT. I'm not sure that we even have one that's more than 50 times more powerful, but then I'm no explosives expert!

You do realize we are talking in terms of Mega-tonnes of explosive here, notKilo-tonnes don't you? Even it were MT's that would still be much more than any conventional rockets could lift!

[edit on 5-8-2007 by C.H.U.D.]

[edit on 5-8-2007 by C.H.U.D.]



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 06:49 PM
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I don't know why, but when I try to edit my posts, it won't let me!


That should read: "not Kilo-tonnes don't you? Even it were KT's "



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:00 PM
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I had my fun towards the top, now lets get serious.

There is a reason why nukes, even nuclear power plants, are not really "allowed" in space by treaty. First thoughts of the countries that developed this treaty (hers is a quick find link to get you started: www.state.gov...) was in weaponization of outer space. Then there was the Challenger explosion, imagine a nuke on that. You would have a dirty bomb of historic proportion and historic consequences. Then, at some point, what goes up does come down. Falling radioactive material does not become un-radioactive.

There have been several very small nuclear devices go into orbit or used in probes to other worlds for power supplies. These were open secrets and countries did file complaints about these devices, but the complaints were ignored.

This is a prime example of something that looks great on paper...



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Malichai
They wouldn't try to hit the asteroid. The explosion would be to deflect it just slightly.


I realize that. But it takes knowledge, tracking and planning to make this early deflection possible.

I'm primarily saying that we've come to believe that nukes are so powerful, but that's in relation to real estate and people on Earth.

Out in space, or detonated near or on the surface of an asteroid, it is not that powerful. As you know, explosions do their work by being confined, and by expanding gasses. If it's not possible to predict the object early enough, then hitting it with nukes may have less an effect than expected. Or it may have an unexpected effect, such as fragmenting a large object, or deflecting it into the path of the Earth from a near miss trajectory.

In addition, I presume they'd want to test the system on an asteroid that is nearby, but not close enough to hit the Earth. That takes additional time, money, resources.

Other options may end up being more feasible.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:18 PM
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So NASA has designed a satellite that will orbit the Earth armed with a small barrage of nukes that can be fired off. I would assume that the satellite can be "re-filled" so to speak... a shuttle crew flies up, slaps in a new replacement nuke, and BAM - backin business.

And this is for taking care of any pesky asteroids?

What keeps NASA and the DoD from using this platform for other purposes?

Could satellite strike any programmed target, like people and places here on the ground?

-OR-

What if this is really for blowing up aliens flying around the Earth and moon?



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by Malichai

Originally posted by rocknroll
Why NASA's sudden interest in taking out asteroids over the last 10 years?
Do they know something we don't? That's the real question. Seems an awful lot of time and money for what they see as a slim probability, don't you think?????


I think this project is related to both NEO concerns and the coming availability of the the Ares V launch vehicle.


To expand on this, since 1990 we've identified a great many NEO's and in general know
of thousands of Asteroids that are not NEO's but in theory could end up having
something happen, like a massive collision or gravitational slingshot that could send
them on a path towards us.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by Badge01
As you know, explosions do their work by being confined, and by expanding gasses. If it's not possible to predict the object early enough, then hitting it with nukes may have less an effect than expected.


Not nuclear explosions, they do their work by breaking atoms up and releasing radiation. The large amounts of nuclear tests done in the past 50 years have given scientists enough data to know pretty well exactly what a nuclear bomb would do in space.

All we need to do is determine how an asteroid is composed. The recent NASA deep impact mission was a step in the right direction. Im guessing they have a pretty good idea how most asteroids are composed now.

So for the time being nukes seem to be the best option. And the ban on using nuclear reactors on scientific missions is archaic and needs to be changed.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 09:26 AM
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IN a show called staragte, they sent nuc's to send to an astroid, but it had a new matireal in it and if they blew up, it would of created a mega mega blast, taking out most of the solar system, whatn im getting at is....shouldnt we make sure there isnt any damgerous matireals on it before we go shooting it ? and why we want to blow space stuff up ? We not happy enough just blowing each other up ?


take Care, Vix



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