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xalos
2008-Dec-18, 04:43 AM
while actually commenting on these forums, i 've been watching steven colbert.
he had one of those threat downs.
number 4 was asteroids.
Supposedly Scientists recently suggested that in order to combat asteroids, a billion dollar shield needs to be built to protect the earth!!
What!?!?!?!??!??!??????????
why dont they just do what is LOGICAL? just send up rockets in order to correct the course of the asteroid.
why do we need a shield?!?! lol
then i would have no reason to look for 2008 ev5 on december 19!!!
.....by the way his #1 threat was Happiness.

slang
2008-Dec-18, 08:56 AM
why dont they just do what is LOGICAL? just send up rockets in order to correct the course of the asteroid.

I don't know what the 'shield' that was mentioned would be. Did they mean to spend much more money on observation, and maybe on test missions? I thin it's safe to assume they didn't mean a shield as in Star Trek "Raise shields, mr. Worf!".

What seems logical to you may not be. A couple of things to think about: how much energy must be transferred to an asteroid to alter its course enough to miss Earth? At what distance? What if we detect it a lot closer? How much energy could a single rocket or probe transfer?

Exactly how would the rocket propel the asteroid away? I've seen some animation recently of a rocket gently approaching an asteroid and extending a couple of clamps to latch on to it. Curiously, the asteroid wasn't rotating at all. Convenient.

What is the type of asteroid? Is it one strong rock? A pile of rubble? Something in between? A comet maybe? Just 'firing a rocket' at any of these will have different (if any) effects depending on the type of asteroid and the type of rocket.

Solutions have been offered for the things I mentioned, and whether they might work or not remains to be seen/tested, but "just sending up rockets" most likely won't cut it.

xalos
2008-Dec-18, 07:10 PM
I see your point, but i was just saying that if the trajectory was found early, like a few years, sending up a rocket to move it just a cm or two, by the time it was goin to hit Earth, its a few thousand Kilometers from hitting it.

but i think the shield they meant was one of like those Spock, futuristic shields,
idk. i went out on a limb yelling out LOGICAL, but this process has been done before and, last time i checked, that's easier than inventing a new energy shield.

Van Rijn
2008-Dec-18, 11:18 PM
I don't know what the 'shield' that was mentioned would be. Did they mean to spend much more money on observation, and maybe on test missions? I thin it's safe to assume they didn't mean a shield as in Star Trek "Raise shields, mr. Worf!".


Yes, exactly. This article might be what is being referred to:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/dec/07/space-technology-asteroid-shield

It talks about recommendations for increased observation funding and development of schemes to deflect dangerous asteroids if found. Definitely no "deflector shields" involved, which are science fiction anyway.

aurora
2008-Dec-19, 02:48 PM
Steven Colbert's show is comedy. You aren't supposed to get science news from him.

novaderrik
2008-Dec-19, 09:18 PM
the Stephen Colbert on tv isn't even the "real" Steven Colbert- he is an over the top character that says over the top things as if he believes them. he is poking fun at certain blowhard tv and radio personalities (who are also, most likely, mostly characters. at least i hope so) that about 1/2 of the country listens to and watches every day.