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View Diary: Can we stop an object from hitting the earth? (108 comments)

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  •  Physics 101 Please... (1+ / 0-)
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    ThirtyFiveUp

    "but if you have a few years lead time"

    With near space filled with objects waiting to be pulled into the Earth's gravity well, there will never be a "few years lead time".  The resources you would have to put into tracking EVERY near earth object while people are starving on the planet from lack of food would be simply unrealistic and inhumane for the probabilities involved.

    It's just simple ballistics: You can't beat the clock when you have a ballistic trajectory you are trying to intercept.  It gets there when it gets there, not when YOU want it to get there.  

    People think we can just instantly teleport something to get it into position where it can do the dirty deed on an asteroid to save the planet.  But that only happens in the movies.  It can be done, but it takes painstaking time and mathematical planning.  The farther out from Earth it is, the longer it takes to send something to it.  By the time you get to it, it's that much closer.  The closer it is, the less time we have to react and plan.  The only way they are able to dock with the Space Station is through meticulous planning and again,,, MATHEMATICS.

    This is why Star Wars satellite warfare is fundamentally flawed: unless you have something like phasers that can instantly target and fry (which we don't), it won't work with our current ballistic based weaponry.  The Patriot missile system was a farce, didn't hit any of Saddam's scuds, I don't care WHAT you saw on TEE VEE.  By the time you spend gazillions on a missile defense system that doesn't work, it might just cost less to get hit by the missile that might never get fired.

    We don't live in a Star Trek world, folks.  The laws of physics are against us.

    Every tax dollar that ends up in the pocket of the profiteers is a tax dollar not in the service of the taxpayer.

    by Bugboy on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:34:07 AM PST

    •  Physics 101 Is What Says You're Wrong (0+ / 0-)
      With near space filled with objects waiting to be pulled into the Earth's gravity well, there will never be a "few years lead time".
      We're talking about actual asteroid orbits, not debris clusters just sort of floating there like in Star Wars. It is quite possible to know more or less where everything will be many years in the future -- the catch is to get enough data to reduce the "more or less" to an uncertainty less than the (relatively tiny) size of the planet.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:01:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Asteroid orbits are hardly predictable (0+ / 0-)

        Physics 101, again

        Every tax dollar that ends up in the pocket of the profiteers is a tax dollar not in the service of the taxpayer.

        by Bugboy on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:59:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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