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NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense

18 Comments
By Issam AHMED

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Fascinating how advances can make things from science fiction become part of reality so fast now, a lot of scientific data can be obtained from projects like this, and the value of proving it can be done is of course huge (if successful).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“ Bet the dinosaurs wish they'd thought of this. “

hahah. :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rest assured, this will be nothing like that godawful unrealistic 1979 movie 'Meteor' starring Brian Keith. Phoenix will be safe. That movie stunk to the high heavens. And so did 'Armageddon' from 1998.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

And so did 'Armageddon' from 1998.

The question me and many others asked after seeing that movie was why is it easier for oil drillers to train to become astronauts than the other way round.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I understand the concept of slightly altering the orbit of an asteroid when it is a long way off from hitting the Earth, but what do we do if an asteroid is detected that is only a few months from striking our home? For instance, a few objects have been tracked coming into the inner solar system from outside our own planetary system. A different method of avoiding impact will then be necessary. At some point we need to experiment with more radical means of changing the orbital trajectory of a celestial body.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

now.... if only they can come up with the technology to save us from ourselves....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Can’t they just play in a sandbox? That would make more sense and be much cheaper.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

At least some are still doing science things that may save the whole world someday

Can’t they just play in a sandbox? That would make more sense and be much cheaper.

Can't simulate the real thing when there's so many we yet don't know. Especially when facing a possibility of dinosaur-ending catastrophe in the future, ya don't want to be caught unprepared and never tested with a real thing

They're trying to see how much, if any, effect one DART would do. Or if they'd need more than one DART

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At least some are still doing science things that may save the whole world someday

They don’t save anything if that day comes. And science in general only costs a lot of resources and money better used for other purposes in society. Most of the research is kind of destructive or bringing more demerits than merits, only to name atomic bombs or chemistry, militarily endangering or having polluted the whole planet, for example. And also the example above , shooting an asteroid, is a very simple and destructive one only. It’s not even considering changes that could influence the overall gravitational and energy balances or at least cares a bit about all the debris after the attack etc.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Today  01:45 pm JST

“ Rest assured, this will be nothing like that godawful unrealistic 1979 movie 'Meteor' starring Brian Keith. Phoenix will be safe. That movie stunk to the high heavens. And so did 'Armageddon' from 1998. “

Oh, you’re one of those anti-Armageddon people(?) ; one of the best decisions I’ve made was to never take that movie seriously; it’s one of the coolest, most entertaining movies of all time. Yes, it’s a ridiculous movie, but it’s one h-ll of a ride. Lots of great quotes too. And, of course, as you all know, NASA actually studied the possibility of blowing the c-rp out of an asteroid; nothing’s impossible. :)

( extremely similar to what we’re reading here today )

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They don’t save anything if that day comes. And science in general only costs a lot of resources and money better used for other purposes in society. Most of the research is kind of destructive or bringing more demerits than merits, only to name atomic bombs or chemistry, militarily endangering or having polluted the whole planet, for example. And also the example above , shooting an asteroid, is a very simple and destructive one only. It’s not even considering changes that could influence the overall gravitational and energy balances or at least cares a bit about all the debris after the attack etc.

When that day comes, it's better to have researched solutions than no research at all - the latter means ya have already surrendered before even trying. And when ya research, eventually ya have to research the real thing, not just play predictions in your computers

Science does cost resources and money, but when facing the possibility of a dinosaur-ending catastrophe, what other purposes in society do ya believe is even higher than that? What's the point of other purposes in society if you'll surrender all that by not trying to prevent a dinosaur-ending event? All of those would be destroyed if ya let a huge asteroid hit the planet, so all for naught

Most research is not destructive nor more demerits than merits. The very evidence of that is we're living better off now than in the past. The computer and internet you're using right now, that's due to research. Really, if most research is more demerits than merits, then after the Renaissance when research and scientific method took us out of the Dark Ages, we would be living worse now than during the Dark Ages. But obviously not - we're much better off

And shooting the asteroid is just the start of the research. You seem to think this is the end-all be-all of the research. It's just the start. We have to start somewhere, to learn more about asteroids and how we can affect it. If we don't do any research, we won't learn anything at all. Do you want to remain in the dark? Not knowing more about asteroids? Not knowing what we can do?

And what's being destructive about this? It's about changing the trajectory of the asteroid, not breaking it apart. And overall gravitational and energy balances? Now you're just grasping at straws

By striking Dimorphos head on, NASA hopes to push it into a smaller orbit, shaving 10 minutes off the time it takes to encircle Didymos, which is currently 11 hours and 55 minutes -- a change that will be detected by ground telescopes in the days that follow.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And science in general only costs a lot of resources and money better used for other purposes in society. Most of the research is kind of destructive or bringing more demerits than merits, only to name atomic bombs or chemistry, militarily endangering or having polluted the whole planet, for example.

Without science, I guess we wouldn't be reading your post. So you may have a point.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

quote: At least some are still doing science things that may save the whole world someday.

I'm not sure there will be much left to save.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More worried about nuclear annihilation from crazed despots than I am about any rock from space landing on my head. Let's focus on this, shall we?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rcchSep. 25  08:10 pm JST

Today  01:45 pm JST

“ Rest assured, this will be nothing like that godawful unrealistic 1979 movie 'Meteor' starring Brian Keith. Phoenix will be safe. That movie stunk to the high heavens. And so did 'Armageddon' from 1998. “

Oh, you’re one of those anti-Armageddon people(?) ; one of the best decisions I’ve made was to never take that movie seriously; it’s one of the coolest, most entertaining movies of all time. Yes, it’s a ridiculous movie, but it’s one h-ll of a ride. Lots of great quotes too. And, of course, as you all know, NASA actually studied the possibility of blowing the c-rp out of an asteroid; nothing’s impossible. :)

Good for you. But there's so many people who DO take Hollywood as gospel, no matter how far-fetched it is. When I saw all three omen movies on San Francisco KRON-TV on Halloween week 1987, there were some people who took it seriously verbatim. But truth is stranger/different from fiction. We've had an antichrist in our modern times but his name isn't Damien, it's Donald.

Top Gun: Maverick is way too unrealistic but those armchair generals whining about the Afghanistan flop got their geeky fantasies satisfied.

And NASA has been studying the possibility of blowing up an asteroid, no doubt we can (at least a smaller one). But Armageddon was just a cliche-ridden pile of puke riding on the notoriety of the real true-to-life apparitions of two extremely bright comets - Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1996-1997. And early in the year 1998, a junk movie. A trend-chasing exercise of sorts.

BTW, a very bright comet NEOWISE graced our skies in 2020. No movie has been made riding on the sensation of that one yet for obvious reasons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today  01:03 pm JST

*” Good for you. But there's so many people who DO take Hollywood as gospel, no matter how far-fetched it is. When I saw all three omen movies on San Francisco KRON-TV on Halloween week 1987, there were some people who took it seriously verbatim. But truth is stranger/different from fiction. We've had an antichrist in our modern times but his name isn't Damien, it's Donald. *

Top Gun: Maverick is way too unrealistic but those armchair generals whining about the Afghanistan flop got their geeky fantasies satisfied.

*And NASA has been studying the possibility of blowing up an asteroid, no doubt we can (at least a smaller one). But Armageddon was just a cliche-ridden pile of puke riding on the notoriety of the real true-to-life apparitions of two extremely bright comets - Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1996-1997. And early in the year 1998, a junk movie. A trend-chasing exercise of sorts.*

BTW, a very bright comet NEOWISE graced our skies in 2020. No movie has been made riding on the sensation of that one yet for obvious reasons. “

..

starpunk buddy, movies are not supposed to be realistic, that’s why they’re called movies. It’s not supposed to make sense; their purpose is to entertain us and make us forget all the worries in our lives; and apparently that’s what some people do: they worry too much. As for Top Gun: Maverick: that is an incredible movie; Tom Cruise and the entire cast did an amazing job, the training they had to do was incredibly difficult; they did their best to entertain us and I think we should respect them for that. If we want to enjoy what the seventh art has to offer us, we need to learn how to separate real life from fiction, and accept that some films are going to be better than others. Sci-fi, for example: hundreds of films and books (not just the good ones) gave their contribution to the scientific and technological advancements in the last seven decades. And here we are, today, reading this extremely interesting article: “ NASA on Monday will attempt a feat humanity has never before accomplished: deliberately smacking a spacecraft into an asteroid to slightly deflect its orbit, in a key test of our ability to stop cosmic objects from devastating life on Earth. “

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know - seems phony to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More worried about nuclear annihilation from crazed despots than I am about any rock from space landing on my head. Let's focus on this, shall we?

The Earth being hit by a big enough asteroid could make a nuclear war look trivial in comparison.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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