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Fraser
2005-Aug-23, 07:10 PM
SUMMARY: Researchers from the University of Michigan are predicting that when asteroid 99942 Apophis (2004 MN4) swings past the Earth in 2029, it will get so close that astronomers should learn a tremendous amount about how the Earth's gravity can shift asteroid orbits. The researchers are hoping that a space agency will put instruments on the surface of the asteroid to measure seismic data, similar to the way seismologists use earthquakes to probe the Earth's interior.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/u-m_study_how_gravity_disrupt_asteroid_spin.html)

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cran
2005-Aug-23, 07:59 PM
It's a magic opportunity to study an asteroid ... seismometers would be a real bonus! I wonder if there are any young 'Bruce Willis' types, hoping to hitch a ride on it? B)

With all the expected increase in space traffic by 2029, they will have to set up some traffic signs... "ASTEROID CROSSING AHEAD!" :lol:

Allan
2005-Aug-24, 09:58 PM
Since the asteroid will pass by at its closest point in 2029 has any consideration been given to its possible use as a space base, launch pad or transportation for that matter. If it could be slowed and placed in orbit the possibilities are endless.

Duane
2005-Aug-24, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Allan@Aug 24 2005, 02:58 PM
Since the asteroid will pass by at its closest point in 2029 has any consideration been given to its possible use as a space base, launch pad or transportation for that matter. If it could be slowed and placed in orbit the possibilities are endless.
ha, ya or disasterous. Imagine a slight miscalculation..............

cran
2005-Aug-25, 02:36 AM
It is an interesting idea, Allen, but as Duane suggests, it would be a rather iffy outcome... <_<

first you would have to know exactly how much mass and structural integrity you would be dealing with ... that will tell you how much energy you will need to modify its orbital vector, and how focussed that energy can be ... just to pull it into some kind of Earth orbit ... then you would need to stabilise that orbit ... then construct your base ... then call for &#39;Bruce Willis&#39; type volunteers to operate the base ...

Easier, perhaps, to land some robotic probes on it, and just go along for the ride for as long as long as it lasts... :huh: that way, the probe could feed detailed data regarding changes to its path ... and act as a homing beacon if we ever need to intercept it and either nudge it well out of the way, or do the &#39;nutcracker&#39; and turn it into a brief but flashy meteor shower... <_<