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darteleven9
2009-May-04, 06:01 PM
How do space probes avoid small asteroids or other objects that could damage them? Voyager 1 and 2 can do that?

novaderrik
2009-May-04, 06:04 PM
they don't. space is so big that the likelihood of actually hitting anything meaningful is pretty small.

01101001
2009-May-04, 08:20 PM
Welcome to BAUT Forum.


How do space probes avoid small asteroids or other objects that could damage them? Voyager 1 and 2 can do that?

Are you maybe picturing the asteroid belt as a sea of rocks jostling against each other, like it is often pictured in the movies? It's more like rest stops along the highway system -- to an ant. They're spread out widely and you're unlikely to hit one by accident. You have to aim carefully to reach one.

See topic How do they navigate through the astroidbelt? (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/41604-how-do-they-navigate-through-astroidbelt.html)

The average distance between belt objects is on the order of one million kilometers.

Sometimes, though, craft go looking for trouble. I'm thinking of the Stardust mission, where the spacecraft chased a comet through the sloughed off debris in its tail. It needed some shielding for critical components as pictured at Stardust Shielding System (http://hitf.jsc.nasa.gov/hitfpub/analysis/stardust2.html).

darteleven9
2009-May-05, 10:51 AM
Thanks for your answers. I was expecting such answers.

But, in my opinion, is quite a risk there.
With a lot of resources invested and in some cases or in the future, with important mission, this risk should be not taken.

Thanks again.

JonClarke
2009-May-05, 10:59 AM
Thanks for your answers. I was expecting such answers.

But, in my opinion, is quite a risk there.
With a lot of resources invested and in some cases or in the future, with important mission, this risk should be not taken.


The present risk traversing the asteroid belt are less one in a billion of hitting anything substantial.

How would you reduce the risk, and why?

Jon

JustAFriend
2009-May-05, 02:41 PM
Thanks for your answers. I was expecting such answers.

But, in my opinion, is quite a risk there.
With a lot of resources invested and in some cases or in the future, with important mission, this risk should be not taken.

Thanks again.


So you're saying that you wouldn't go out on the freeway if there was only ONE other car on the far-side of the Earth??? (about the same odds...)

It's harder to FIND them rather than be hit by them.

Rhaedas
2009-May-05, 02:51 PM
I think the OP is trying to say that the common argument, that because space has danger, no matter what odds, that resources could be better used here on earth.

But how many things we take for granted today fell under the same category in the past? To explore new ideas and frontiers requires some risk, and so many things we have in the modern world result directly because we began to reach out into space to explore and learn.

antoniseb
2009-May-05, 03:10 PM
...in my opinion, is quite a risk there.
With a lot of resources invested and in some cases or in the future, with important mission, this risk should be not taken. ...

I understand your opinion, but disagree. If we were sending manned spacecraft out there for extended missions, we'd need to make sure it could tolerate a bunch of hits from small objects, and had a path that avoided the known objects. The science missions do get dinged by dust, and small grains, but mostly tolerate then for the expected life of the mission.

Nicolas
2009-May-05, 04:13 PM
I think the OP is trying to say that the common argument, that because space has danger, no matter what odds, that resources could be better used here on earth.

I don't read that into his posts. Indeed I read the contrary in his posts: an acceptance of large future space mission, with the remark that we should watch out not to hit anything to make sure this large investment does not break into a million pieces.

We shouldn't put words in people's mouths, so if the OP wants to make an argument, it is his to make, not ours.

darteleven9
2009-May-05, 09:07 PM
Thanks again for your interest.

I admit that I haven't stated a complete situation.
I'm referring to those small bodies undetectable from Earth that could put the probe in a "blindness and hopeful that the odds apply" situation.

I am for space exploration.
We have a rather calm solar system and space probes are developed for our solar sistem.
I was curious if an avoiding system was ever considered.

PraedSt
2009-May-05, 09:26 PM
I was curious if an avoiding system was ever considered.
Well, if it was manned and I was in it (:D), I'd definitely consider it, regardless of the 'odds'. I'd want good shielding, radar, plenty of spare propellant, and an excellent map.
But to be honest I'm not exactly sure what they do for unmanned probes. Maybe avoid areas that have a relatively high density of particles. Or maybe just take their chances. Or a bit of both.

Jens
2009-May-06, 07:13 AM
But, in my opinion, is quite a risk there.
With a lot of resources invested and in some cases or in the future, with important mission, this risk should be not taken.


For a probe like Pioneer or Voyager, (1) the likelihood is very small, and (2) the cost and technical difficulties of doing anything about it are prohibitive. So it's best to just hope for the best. In the case of the ISS or Shuttle, things are very different, because the likelihood of hitting something (manmade debris) is very high, and it is possible to do something about it, because we know where some big pieces of debris are.