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Old 25th November 2021, 12:01 AM   #1
Roboramma
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NASA's "Dart" mission to intercept and divert an asteroid

Pretty cool mission to intercept and alter the orbit of an asteroid, just successfully launched yesterday. This is a concept that I've been a fan of for a long time, while the chances of an impact are very low, it seems worthwhile to at least test out the technology and better understand the best ways to go about deflecting an asteroid before we're in a situation when time matters.

https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart
Quote:
DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid. DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space. The DART mission is led by APL and managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Science Mission Directorate’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

DART is a spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. This asteroid system is a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future. While no known asteroid larger than 140 meters in size has a significant chance to hit Earth for the next 100 years, only about 40 percent of those asteroids have been found as of October 2021.
Quote:
The DART spacecraft will achieve the kinetic impact deflection by deliberately crashing itself into the moonlet at a speed of approximately 6.6 km/s, with the aid of an onboard camera (named DRACO) and sophisticated autonomous navigation software. The collision will change the speed of the moonlet in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of one percent, but this will change the orbital period of the moonlet by several minutes - enough to be observed and measured using telescopes on Earth.
This is actually a pretty good twitter thread on the subject:
https://twitter.com/DrPhiltill/statu...61046615392259
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Old 25th November 2021, 12:15 AM   #2
The Great Zaganza
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Clearly a cover for the interstellar war we are engaged in.
Where can I fit this on my Q Board?
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Old 25th November 2021, 12:33 AM   #3
arthwollipot
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I don't think the chances of an impact are low. We're pretty good at hitting what we're aiming for.

And by "we" of course I mean very smart rocket scientists.
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Old 25th November 2021, 12:53 AM   #4
Planigale
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Is it a coincidence they (the US government) launch a space weapon at the same time as they start an enquiry into UFOs? Particularly as they intend to "mitigate any associated threats".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-59405585
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59327293

Or is this just a power play by the Space Force?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io6Mqho-asM

Is this why NASA intends to build a moon base?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glR35ifbwQ4
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Old 25th November 2021, 01:14 AM   #5
RolandRat
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Project Bluebeam has begun. Bow before your technological Overlords, puny mortals.

http://mythdetector.ge/en/myth/where...racy-originate
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Old 25th November 2021, 02:17 AM   #6
wea
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
... while the chances of an impact are very low...[/url]
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't think the chances of an impact are low. We're pretty good at hitting what we're aiming for.

And by "we" of course I mean very smart rocket scientists.
I think Roboramma refers to impacts of (large) asteroids with earth, not rocket to target?
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Old 25th November 2021, 04:00 AM   #7
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Pretty cool mission to intercept and alter the orbit of an asteroid, just successfully launched yesterday. This is a concept that I've been a fan of for a long time, while the chances of an impact are very low, it seems worthwhile to at least test out the technology and better understand the best ways to go about deflecting an asteroid before we're in a situation when time matters.
Nonetheless, things that have very low chances of happening, do, in fact, sometimes happen, and it would only take one sufficiently large asteroid to end us.
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Old 25th November 2021, 04:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Nonetheless, things that have very low chances of happening, do, in fact, sometimes happen, and it would only take one sufficiently large asteroid to end us.
As Pratchett once said: Million to one chances happen nine times out of ten.
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Old 25th November 2021, 06:17 AM   #9
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I don't think the chances of an impact are low. We're pretty good at hitting what we're aiming for.

And by "we" of course I mean very smart rocket scientists.
Haha, yes, I think you're right that the chances of hitting the asteroid are very high.

I'm hoping it was clear that I meant that the chances of a dangerously large asteroid impacting the earth are low, but I guess I'll ruin what is probably your joke by pointing this out.
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Old 25th November 2021, 06:18 AM   #10
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Nonetheless, things that have very low chances of happening, do, in fact, sometimes happen, and it would only take one sufficiently large asteroid to end us.
Yep, which is one reason that I'm definitely a fan of this mission.
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Old 25th November 2021, 01:11 PM   #11
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yep, which is one reason that I'm definitely a fan of this mission.
As am I, but one of the the things that really annoys about the media is they way they portray an extinction-level asteroid impact...



THIS isn't even remotely true. Asteroids of this sort of size are all well documented and their orbits are well known. If one this size was coming to get us, we would know about it decades, perhaps centuries in advance*. In all probability, this size of asteroid hasn't impacted the earth sice the formation of the solar system.



THESE are the ones that represent the danger to us... can you see it?



How about now? Can you see it yet?



OK, you should be able to see it now, just to the right above centre of the image.

This is, approximately to scale, the size of the asteroid that formed the Chicxulub crater and wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It may seem small by comparison to the earth but it is the mass combined with the sheer velocity that causes the huge energy release, and resulting in an extinction-level event. Scientists have calculated that the dinosaur killer was about 10km wide and hit the earth at about 30km/sec.

This range of sized asteroids that represent the greatest danger to us. There are also much smaller , more frequent ones that might not be extinction-level impacts but we still need to we need to be worried about them because they would cause huge amounts of damage, death and destruction. Even the much smaller Tunguska type event impacting a city like New York or London would wipe it off the map and kill millions of people. Impacting the ocean could potentially be even worse for coastal inhabitants.

It is these type of asteroids we need to be to be able to detect and deflect.
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Last edited by smartcooky; 25th November 2021 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 25th November 2021, 06:29 PM   #12
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Haha, yes, I think you're right that the chances of hitting the asteroid are very high.

I'm hoping it was clear that I meant that the chances of a dangerously large asteroid impacting the earth are low, but I guess I'll ruin what is probably your joke by pointing this out.
Yes, it's clear now that that's what you were referring to.
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