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(The Raw Story)   NASA slams spending cuts that put Earth at risk of undetected killer asteroids. What could possibly go wrong?   (rawstory.com) divider line 68
    More: Scary, NASA, killer, Earth, house science committee, NASA slams, John Holdren, operating budgets  
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4993 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Mar 2013 at 7:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-24 06:55:46 AM
Is there a possible optimal size for "city killer" or even "block killer" asteroids / meteoroids? Because perhaps if one were to fall Washington, perhaps NASA would get the funding they need.

Of course, the odds of that would be, well, astronomical. ;)
 
2013-03-24 07:08:40 AM
freeversephotography.com
 
GBB
2013-03-24 07:09:44 AM

mamoru: Is there a possible optimal size for "city killer" or even "block killer" asteroids / meteoroids? Because perhaps if one were to fall Washington, perhaps NASA would get the funding they need.

Of course, the odds of that would be, well, astronomical. ;)


Too many variables.  Density, speed, angle of enty...

/that's what SHE said.
 
2013-03-24 07:13:51 AM
Meh.  We've done just fine for thousands of years without the nanny helicopter state hovering around, looking for asteroids.

Besides, the only reason God would hit us with an asteroid is if we have become too wicked, so the logical idea is to spend less on waste of time "science" junk like this, and more on faith.
 
2013-03-24 07:15:35 AM
We'll all have to put our lives in the hands of Ben Affleck. That's what could go wrong.
 
2013-03-24 07:18:41 AM
More cuts to NASA is horrific suckage in itself, but the devastating fact is that we don't know much about how many threatening rocks are out there. The asteroid hunting budget is minuscule.

This isn't putting us in danger, we've always been here.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 07:23:20 AM

way south: More cuts to NASA is horrific suckage in itself, but the devastating fact is that we don't know much about how many threatening rocks are out there. The asteroid hunting budget is minuscule.

This isn't putting us in danger, we've always been here.


That's the point.  no one knows, so no one knows how much of a threat there is.
 
2013-03-24 07:30:43 AM
I hope a city over in Asia or whatever gets wiped out just to show the republicans how wrong they were.
 
2013-03-24 07:58:52 AM
So, just out of curiosity, let's say we did detect an asteroid on a collision course for earth.  How much early warning is needed actually do anything about it?  10 years?  What's the upper mass/size limit for what we could push out of the way right now?
 
2013-03-24 08:08:19 AM
Another Aerosmith power ballad
 
2013-03-24 08:09:09 AM
I already have a toilet in my house. I can flush money down the drain much more efficiently.
 
2013-03-24 08:09:21 AM
Nice, now NASA is resorting to scare tactics for their funding.
 
2013-03-24 08:17:15 AM

Tenga: I hope a city over in Asia or whatever gets wiped out just to show the republicans how wrong they were.


Well that is classy.
 
2013-03-24 08:22:34 AM

vpb: way south: More cuts to NASA is horrific suckage in itself, but the devastating fact is that we don't know much about how many threatening rocks are out there. The asteroid hunting budget is minuscule.

This isn't putting us in danger, we've always been here.

That's the point.  no one knows, so no one knows how much of a threat there is.


You should worry about that.
 
2013-03-24 08:30:15 AM
"Well, our object collision budget's a million dollars. That allows us to track about 3% of the sky, and beg'n your pardon sir, but it's a big-ass sky."

mimg.ugo.com
 
2013-03-24 08:32:44 AM

I alone am best: Tenga: I hope a city over in Asia or whatever gets wiped out just to show the republicans how wrong they were.

Well that is classy.


Bikini Atoll would be a nice target, though.

/was going to say Eniwetok but checked; there are inhabitants there now... to my surprise
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 08:36:29 AM
What could possibly go wrong?

Probably the same thing that went wrong last time we had a sky-is-falling response to threatened NASA spending cuts.
 
2013-03-24 08:47:02 AM
It's pretty much pointless.... they wouldn't be able to project enough time ahead(3 weeks for a massive one, 1 week for a smaller one)
and even then, they don't know exactly where it's going to hit. They can't move everyone in that time within a few hundred miles(because that is the projected strike zone)
 
2013-03-24 08:52:03 AM
What's the point of detecting? So we can worry ourselves to death before we are smitten?

Yes, we could intercept but we don't have enough nukes to overcome the mass and velocity of these things. We'd be better off curing cancer.
 
2013-03-24 09:01:38 AM
They have not read about Wormwood.
 
2013-03-24 09:12:46 AM
With luck, Mars is going to get smacked with a big one. That MIGHT get some people to wake up and realize that we need to get moving on this issue
 
2013-03-24 09:19:27 AM
SLAMgoes the asteroid into earth.   SLAM, SLAM, SLAM.See asteroids Dick and Jane  SLAMthe earth.
 
2013-03-24 09:23:18 AM

edmo: Yes, we could intercept but we don't have enough nukes to overcome the mass and velocity of these things. We'd be better off curing cancer.


You're assuming it's a "planet killer". What if it's big enough to flatten the city you're in. Would you like notice to get the fark out of the way?
 
2013-03-24 09:23:44 AM
Look, big government bureaucracy, you need to personalize the fearmongering to get the lavish and excessive funding.  Remember the Cold War and the War On Terror?  Tell people the Chinese are guiding in the asteroids onto the US with lasers or radio waves or stuff.
 
2013-03-24 09:30:06 AM
There is nothing we can do about it anyway.
 
2013-03-24 09:30:53 AM

edmo: What's the point of detecting? So we can worry ourselves to death before we are smitten?

Yes, we could intercept but we don't have enough nukes to overcome the mass and velocity of these things. We'd be better off curing cancer.


not going to cure cancer, too much money in just keeping folks alive.  Country Club dues aren't going to pay themselves you know. What do you mean "last years yacht?"

We should fund it and bill other countries according to their land mass for, "security services".

Until we invade them, you know, like organized crime, or the bush administration which was essentially the same thing
 
2013-03-24 09:31:03 AM
We need more bombers, fighter jets, drones and "wars".  In order to do so, no medical care, social security, education, space programs etc. are needed....these are so unnecessary, so unboot strappy and definitely you are a terrorist if you do not agree.
 
2013-03-24 09:45:39 AM

shotglasss: There is nothing we can do about it anyway.


I thought that a sattelite's gravational pull could pull an asteroid/meteorite off course if it were caught soon enough. Seriously. There was quite a bit of discussion about it.
 
2013-03-24 10:10:54 AM

Bontesla: shotglasss: There is nothing we can do about it anyway.

I thought that a sattelite's gravational pull could pull an asteroid/meteorite off course if it were caught soon enough. Seriously. There was quite a bit of discussion about it.


There are a lot of methods in which very simple and subtle interactions can have large changes in the interaction of two orbits when enough time is allowed for the changes to grow. Very early detection is obviously key for saving the planet from 'the big one.'

In reality, a more regionally destructive impact is far more likely. I'm this case, terrestrial reaponses (evacuation, shelters, various tsunami deterrents) can be very effective.

Regardless, I'm all fir fiscal awareness, but we're too educated about the nature of our solar system to pretend these threats don't exist. It's reckless ignorance.
 
2013-03-24 10:14:55 AM
To be fair, looking for them does us no good. It just gives us more time to be terrified.
 
2013-03-24 10:16:29 AM

Ker_Thwap: Nice, now NASA is resorting to scare tactics for their funding.


Well, all the cuts that Obama & company made to space exploration prior to this little tactic didn't get jack shiat from the chicken littles, but now it's all "ASTERIODS!!1!1!!1"
 
2013-03-24 10:29:35 AM

overCee: So, just out of curiosity, let's say we did detect an asteroid on a collision course for earth.  How much early warning is needed actually do anything about it?  10 years?  What's the upper mass/size limit for what we could push out of the way right now?


It comes down to how much warning we have.  The same shove will have twice the benefit applied twice as far from impact.  Also, the more time we have the more shove we can apply.

kertus: With luck, Mars is going to get smacked with a big one. That MIGHT get some people to wake up and realize that we need to get moving on this issue


Yeah C/2013 A1 Siding Spring should be a wakeup call if Shoemaker-Levy 9 wasn't.  Shoemaker-Levy 9 would have devastated a continent.  We don't have a good size estimate on Siding Spring yet, at the low end it's a dinosaur killer.  At the high end it might be enough to sterilize a planet.

edmo: What's the point of detecting? So we can worry ourselves to death before we are smitten?

Yes, we could intercept but we don't have enough nukes to overcome the mass and velocity of these things. We'd be better off curing cancer.


It depends on how far away we see it.  Detected close in we can't hope to do much against anything bigger than a city-killer.  Detected far out those bombs will be useful--it's called an Orion drive.
 
2013-03-24 10:31:18 AM

eggrolls: We'll all have to put our lives in the hands of Ben Affleck. That's what could go wrong.


But he was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!

/Besides, Bruce Willis saved the world
//Get. Off. The. Nuclear. Weapon.
 
2013-03-24 10:40:06 AM

shotglasss: There is nothing we can do about it anyway.


upload.wikimedia.org Reminds me of this guy.

The Key to being able to do anything is early detection, much like cancer.
 
2013-03-24 10:57:36 AM
Fearmongering:  It's good when people we like do it!
 
2013-03-24 10:58:05 AM
So NASA loses 5% of their budget and the LEAST important 5% is the asteroid-watching program, the loss of which they say can have a devastating effect.

I'm assuming the other 95% of their $17.8B budget is funding things that could be even more devastating if they were cut.

Sure.
 
2013-03-24 11:11:11 AM
Need to set priorities

So what if we don't spend money on science, research and technology.  Palestinians need $500 million which they got and those people in Detroit and Chicago aren't going to feed and clothe themselves without gov't money.

Focus people, think of the children.
 
2013-03-24 11:21:14 AM

Loren: It depends on how far away we see it. Detected close in we can't hope to do much against anything bigger than a city-killer. Detected far out those bombs will be useful--it's called an Orion drive.


Hell, detected far enough out a *can of white spray paint* might very well be enough, with the differential heating from the sun causing it to slowly outgass/get pushed in another direction.

Buffalo77: Need to set priorities

So what if we don't spend money on science, research and technology.  Palestinians need $500 million which they got and those people in Detroit and Chicago aren't going to feed and clothe themselves without gov't money.

Focus people, think of the children.


Weird that you didn't decide to talka bout the alternate engine to the multi-billion dollar fighters that the pentagon doesn't even want, or the massive subsidies to already-profitable industries.

Or, hell. We can't DARE raise capital gains to be in line with income taxes, so let's just not fund science.
 
2013-03-24 11:30:51 AM
We will never have a balanced budget because every time someone tries to do so, you have people going "Oh no, you can't cut finding to that!  It's too important!"
 
2013-03-24 11:42:56 AM

eggrolls: We'll all have to put our lives in the hands of Ben Affleck. That's what could go wrong.


Hey, it worked out pretty well for those people trapped in Iran.

/How many Oscars does the guy need to win before he gets a little respect around here?
 
2013-03-24 11:46:32 AM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: We will never have a balanced budget because every time someone tries to do so, you have people going "Oh no, you can't cut finding to that!  It's too important!"


YOU WILL REGRET THIS!
 
2013-03-24 11:53:57 AM

Ker_Thwap: Nice, now NASA is resorting to scare tactics for their funding.


To be fair, asking politely hasn't worked.
 
2013-03-24 11:54:56 AM

Mad_Radhu: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: We will never have a balanced budget because every time someone tries to do so, you have people going "Oh no, you can't cut finding to that!  It's too important!"

YOU WILL REGRET THIS!


No, I won't.  The funding to punish me has been cut.
 
2013-03-24 12:00:11 PM
Seriously, what purpose does searching the skies for "killer asteroids" serve?  Suppose that astronomers see one 1km wide that will hit Hong Kong in 30 earth days.  What's the plan?  I don't see the point in watching for a potential problem without also having a plan to deal with that problem
 
2013-03-24 12:19:56 PM
Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Seriously, what purpose does searching the skies for "killer asteroids" serve?  Suppose that astronomers see one 1km wide that will hit Hong Kong in 30 earth days.  What's the plan?  I don't see the point in watching for a potential problem without also having a plan to deal with that problem

Start assploding nukes near it till it is no longer on a collission course.

Also KM wide is getting pretty damned big, The K/T event one was something like 6-12 KM across (don't ask me how they best physicists and mathmatitions with PHDs cant get it more precise than that)
 
2013-03-24 12:31:18 PM

Loren: overCee: So, just out of curiosity, let's say we did detect an asteroid on a collision course for earth.  How much early warning is needed actually do anything about it?  10 years?  What's the upper mass/size limit for what we could push out of the way right now?

It comes down to how much warning we have.  The same shove will have twice the benefit applied twice as far from impact.  Also, the more time we have the more shove we can apply.


Actually, it's a geometric thing.  A shove twice as far out would have four times the benefit.

A well-designed and built deep space tracking network would no doubt be an awesome scientific tool as well.
 
2013-03-24 12:36:09 PM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Seriously, what purpose does searching the skies for "killer asteroids" serve?  Suppose that astronomers see one 1km wide that will hit Hong Kong in 30 earth days.  What's the plan?  I don't see the point in watching for a potential problem without also having a plan to deal with that problem


Are you shiatting us?

Given 30 days warning, you could get a lot of people out of Hong Kong.  Hell, you probably could get everybody out and safely away if you could somehow keep them from panicking.
 
2013-03-24 12:38:30 PM
I love the comments that boil down to "Fark it, let's risk humanity."
 
2013-03-24 12:53:06 PM

Oldiron_79: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Seriously, what purpose does searching the skies for "killer asteroids" serve?  Suppose that astronomers see one 1km wide that will hit Hong Kong in 30 earth days.  What's the plan?  I don't see the point in watching for a potential problem without also having a plan to deal with that problem

Start assploding nukes near it till it is no longer on a collission course.

Also KM wide is getting pretty damned big, The K/T event one was something like 6-12 KM across (don't ask me how they best physicists and mathmatitions with PHDs cant get it more precise than that)


You do realize we don't actually have the capability to launch a nuke at a moving astroid, right? If you got really lucky, you could hit it with an ICBM in atmosphere (way too late) or possible in LEO, but really at that point you are just randomizing where it will hit.

(The max we can loft out of orbit is a few hundred pounds. And that takes 5-20 years of work.)
 
2013-03-24 02:35:00 PM

Vitamin Pb: You do realize we don't actually have the capability to launch a nuke at a moving astroid, right? If you got really lucky, you could hit it with an ICBM in atmosphere (way too late) or possible in LEO, but really at that point you are just randomizing where it will hit.

(The max we can loft out of orbit is a few hundred pounds. And that takes 5-20 years of work.)



LOLWHUT?

The entire Mars Science laboratory spacecraft was  8,580 lb, which is lighter than a 9 Mt W53 warhead used on the Titan IIs by about 2000 lbs, which gives you about 2000 lbs to play with for the actual delivery spacecraft (maybe more if you could strip some weight of the bomb in terms of head and radiationshielding) if you used the same Atlas V that the MSL did and you were aiming at an asteroid in a near-earth orbit.
 
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