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NASA Making Plans To Save the Earth 226

aluminumangel writes, "Taking a page out of a Michael Bay movie, NASA is considering a manned mission to land on an asteroid, 'poke one with a stick,' and see how feasible it would be to deflect it from its course. Obviously, the application would be valuable in a doomsday situation and hopefully could keep us from going wherever the dinosaurs went." The article makes oblique reference to another goal such a mission could serve: giving us something to do in space, something to engage the paying public, between the time we return to the Moon and the time we get to Mars.
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NASA Making Plans To Save the Earth

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  • by jginspace ( 678908 ) <jginspace@nospaM.yahoo.com> on Sunday November 19, 2006 @12:45AM (#16901878) Homepage Journal
    ...from the original [slashdot.org]
  • Several thoughts (Score:2, Informative)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday November 19, 2006 @01:32AM (#16902088) Journal
    1. We should be sending several automated system to do this, not a human crew. Much cheaper and easier.
    2. Why send the asteroid elsewhere? If it is going to hit Earth, put it into orbit. If it is big enough to worry about, then it must be a good size chunk of metal. We can mine it.
    3. One of the more useful uses for this is to send asteroids into Mars. Not the metal kind, but one based on organics. There are a number of them out there that are composed of Water, Ammonia or even of methane. These would be great to send directly into mars and build up the gases that are lacking. Ammonia is a very effective global warming gas that slow breaks down to N2, the perfect gas for life. H2o is also a good one.
    4. Of course, we could simply turn an asteroid into a nice space ship.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2006 @02:15AM (#16902294)
    Ask and ye shall receive! ---> 1999 AN10

    Here's what you've all been waiting for.
  • by guardiangod ( 880192 ) on Sunday November 19, 2006 @02:59AM (#16902426)
    Perhaps I should explain this without resorting to the use of sarcasm - they are popular misconceptions, after all.

    An asteroid, moving through space, has velocity (relatively to the earth) 5 - 20 km/s. Now, most of the earth's atmosphere is about 5 km thick (the rest are light elements scattered in the exosphere). That means it takes
    less than a second
    for any asteroid to get though the earth's atmosphere! This is the reason why meteoroids are below freezing (instead of glowing red hot) after they landed on earth - they don't have time to heat up through friction.

    Second of all, impact cratering is calculated by the kinetic energy of the asteroid. Size means jack. Which means that as long as the most of the things landed on earth, we get craters.

    What all these means is unless you can blow up the asteroid in such a way that they are smaller than your garden's peddles, they will still hit earth. Can fusion bomb do that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2006 @03:10AM (#16902444)
    Look at me I can steal comments from Another posting [slashdot.org] too. I am SOOO original.

    Get a job FAG!!!

    - Wolf Bearclaw
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 19, 2006 @03:53AM (#16902540)
    You are making the assumption that meteors fall perpendicular to the Earth rather than at an angle.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.