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SCI/TECH: Asteroid Eaters, new weapon to protect Earth

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posted on May, 19 2004 @ 08:23 AM
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Researchers from SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc. (SEI) are examing a new approach on dealing with Asteroids, nuclear-powered robotic drills, that would "hurl chunks of it into space with enough force to gradually push it into a non-Earth impacting course." A preliminary study into the robots has been completed, and has been awarded by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC).
 

Space.com

At the movies, the best way to stop an asteroid from wiping out Earth is to lob a few nuclear missiles at the rocky beast or blow it apart from the inside with megaton bombs.

While those methods promise some fantastic explosions -- and maybe a blockbuster hit -- a team of engineers are looking at a more patient approach. Their weapon: a swarm of nuclear-powered robots that could drill into an asteroid and hurl chunks of it into space with enough force to gradually push it into a non-Earth impacting course.

With the first phase of the study complete, SEI researchers are awaiting a decision from NIAC on whether to fund a second round of research that would focus, among other things, on the design of a technology-testing precursor mission to be carried out in the next decade.

"Phase two means going into more detail, building a roadmap to develop the enabling technology for these projects," Casanova said. "We'd like to think that NASA would be interested in these projects once a phase two study is finished."




posted on May, 19 2004 @ 08:29 AM
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And what if the asteroid is spinning around? Which direction are they going to push it in?reallly how much force are they going to be able to use to direct the asteroids. Just remember asteroids can be Kilometeres in size.

This sounds too far fetchd to me, and not enough power and thought in the robo-drills.

It sounds as far fetched as landing something on the asteroid, and then having it let out a huge sheet to catch solar winds and let them move the asteroid. Tooo far fetched, too long, not enough thought. Lots of things could go wrong. Same as those robot drills...

We need real solutions to the problem, that will GUARANTEE that no asteroid hits Earth.

[Edited on 19-5-2004 by DaRAGE]



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 08:43 AM
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a combined i.s.s. & hubbletelescope device could do the job...if NASA would save the hubble and "tow it to the i.s.s." by a shuttle or unmanned robot,like the russians use to bring food,crew and stuff tot he i.s.s.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 08:48 AM
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Well, at least they are looking at ways to stop incoming asteroids.
Even if it didnt work, gotta start somewhere right? Eventually, we will get hit unless we come up with something to stop it.
First time in the earths history where evolution can be "changed" if you follow the evolution of earth up till this point, asteroid impacts seem to be a natural part of the evolutionary proccess. So stopping them, is actually tampering with evolution in an odd way.

Great story



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 09:23 AM
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the key for me is early detection if we can get to it early enough then a slight nudge billions of kilometres from earth will send it in another direction.

good luck with this but earth itself worries me more nowadays climate change etc.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 09:49 AM
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They've been looking at a number of different ideas for some years now. There is quite a bit of speculation that attempting to blast an asteroid into smaller pieces may actually be worse than taking a direct hit from the larger entity. The jury also appears to be still out with respect to changing the course of an asteroid. It would require a tremendous amount of energy and I believe the results would be less predictable than desired.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:01 AM
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this sounds a bit too armagheddon-ish to me. it is quite interesting though, and hopefully we won't have to worry about anything like this happening for a while.

what i'm surprised about is that no one has linked this to touatis!



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:09 AM
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some evidence than can not be denied is in arizona usa !
the little amount in weight of what came falling to the earth's surface...and the enormous crater it left speaks for itself.
imagine the spot had been a big city where it hit


[Edited on 19-5-2004 by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE]



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE
This sounds too far fetched to me.

We need real solutions to the problem, that will GUARANTEE that no asteroid hits Earth.


I think it's still a nice step toward a real solution. Ever heard of the "trials & errors" method? Let's just hope their won't be too much errors lol...

But I doubt we'll ever be able to GUARANTEE such a thing as "no asteroids are gonna hit the Earth, ever..."

This is what sounds far fetched to me.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:16 AM
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I guess I'm more worried about the number of trials rather than the number of errors. Boy one good trial can just ruin your day!



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:32 AM
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I must be the only one hoping that an asteroid hits us and pushes the ol' evolutionary reset button. I have to stop reading the news cause I am really beginning to believe that the human race sucks.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 01:50 PM
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lol @ mbwun.

I have had days like that and I am almost inclined to agree with you.

I would almost embrace moving to the outback with my wife and kids and making do in a hut chasing kangaroos and growing fruit trees at this point.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 06:52 PM
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I think the question is will they find it in time to deploy all of these rockets and how long can they keep the engine burning. Let alone the rotational spin allowing them to connect to the comet. Take a look at neo.jpl.nasa.gov... Look at the March 17 article. It said a recently discovered asteroid would come very close the Earth on March 18. Wow, one day notice.. that was good.... neo.jpl.nasa.gov...



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 07:21 PM
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I would almost embrace moving to the outback with my wife and kids and making do in a hut chasing kangaroos and growing fruit trees at this point.

I'll second this. Take a look at this:
Very Scary End of World

You just might get your wish!

And since you said in the outback I'll assume you're in Australia. Have fun. These astoroids are supposed to hit in the southern hemisphere.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 07:44 PM
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This seems a bit too MATRIX for me... just imagine the swarm of bots you would have to send out to dismantle a 1km asteroid... and if bits break or wear out, what then?

I read one proposal that was actually quite a neat idea. It used the idea of 'golfball lift'... send out intelligent rockets that attach to the asteroid and get it spinning in a specific direction in relation to the sun, and supposedly the radiation and particles given off by the sun would cause a "lifting" effect, causing the asteroid to curve off of it's original path. I think the only problem with this ine was the distance needed to get the asteroid far enough away from the earth so it doesn't try to become a new moon.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 09:46 PM
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does this have to anything to do with the alegded comet or meteor that is suppose to hit the earth?? there have been a couple of threads on ATS. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 12:17 PM
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hmm Could NANO technology be used? little nano bots zillions of em sent to asteroid they could maybe eat all metals on asteroid or build things from the asteroids materials? almost infinite............


Also why destroy em why not deflection protection technologys?????

sound waves
lasers in space
magnetic force fields
water even

[Edited on 22-5-2004 by blobby]




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