Originally posted by deenuu
But what the million dollar question is, Why do we really need weapons in space??? riddle me that.
The same reason we "need" weapons of mass destruction at all... To use them on our fellow humans, to control the masses, to prevent certain
"ideas" (such as freedom
) from spreading out of control.
way to intercept and redirect asteroids is also the simplest
— land a few thruster units on the surface of any threatening
asteroid and gradually thrust it
into a slightly different trajectory.
I mean, your typical Space Shuttle weighs about 83 tons empty, and it's capable of carrying about 30 tons of payload, max. Of course, you're not
talking about "weight" in the microgravity of space, you're talking about mass and velocity. Still, a few simple orbital maneuvering thrusters can
whip the total mass of the Space Shuttle around 180° in a matter of moments in microgravity.
Now with a sizable asteroid, you're talking about a few million times more mass than a Space Shuttle — still, the principles are the same. Mount a
few thrusters on one side of the stroid, and you can
slightly alter its trajectory.
We've already proven that we can "catch up" to both comets and
asteroids or intercept them or even take pot shots at them. Beyond that,
we've proven that we can remotely land space probes
on the surface of asteroids.
It's already been done. Old news.
It's only one small step
to take what we know
to the next logical level: Land
a series of thruster packages
asteroid, anchor them, and then fire up the thrusters.
We could even mount thrusters on relatively small asteroids
— say, the size of a Space Shuttle — and steer
the bastards into
collision courses with much larger asteroids.
Of course, the question is not can we really accomplish this?
We can. The million-dollar-question is will we have enough time
accomplish it, once we identify an asteroid on an intercept course with Earth?
Judging from recent history, we don't even know where the dangerous asteroids are
until they're zipping past Earth within the Moon's orbit.
In just the last 20 years, I think there have been at least 3 great big asteroids that came within spitting distance, and one of those was the size of
the state of Utah — that was certainly
an ELE asteroid, yet we didn't know it was out there
until it essentially grazed
Alas, spotting these things after the fact
is of no use whatsoever.
— Doc Velocity