Saturday, February 1, 2014

How to avert Asteroid Collision with Earth

If in the future a significant sized asteroid is discovered to soon be on a possible collision course with Earth or Luna, it could be sent a big enough ion jet to significantly shift its orbit away safer.  Thus it had seemed good to start having a few such bigger ion jets robotically prepared to wait ready at little cost.  Then nothing like what happened 65.5 million years ago, killing 2/3 of Earth life (while triggering the extinction of dinosaurs, but letting mammals soon become somewhat dominant), should happen again.

That disaster had been when apparently a large-body collision undergone by asteroid 298 Baptistina had sent a number of chunks into the inner solar system, creating the Tycho crater on Luna, and from a 10km chunk, the Chicxulub crater in Mexico.  Dust from the strike had badly dimmed daylight around Earth for a year, deadly for many natural food plants, thus also then deadly for many hungry starving animals.  Since then there had been other less severe craters made on Earth from less big asteroid strikes.

Microgridded communications cubes were now being sent to any asteroid which might be big enough to cause any future Earth collision threat.  When reaching such an asteroid, the full sent load collection was slowed into an orbit to collect surface images, while seeking a safe good higher surface place to lightly land on, good for sending/receiving beamed communications to/from some sender (if then in the suitable half of the asteroid's day).  The surface images' light spectra indicated the surface composition type.

There are primarily three asteroid types: C-type or carbonaceous asteroids, S-type or silicate rich asteroids also having some metal, and M-type or metal-rich asteroids, (like the earlier source asteroid used to start the 2 high orbiting settlements).  C-type (3/4 of asteroids) are more red with low reflective albedo (dark).  S-type (1/6 of asteroids) have relatively high albedo (not dark).  The surface spectra reveal silicates and some metal.

M-type (1/10 of asteroids) are metal-rich.  Their spectra resemble that of iron-nickel.  Some are thought to have started from metallic cores parts of differentiated progenitor bodies that had been disrupted through collisions.

By early this century, asteroids of at least various sizes totaled about: 100m 25,000,000, 300m 4,000,000, 500m 2,000,000, 1km 750,000, 3km 200,000, 5km 90,000, 10km 10,000, 30km 1,100, 50km 600, 100km 200, 200km 30, 300km 5, 500km 3, 900km 1.  The smaller ones may be more potato shaped than spherical, most being likely rubble piles loosely held together by their weak gravity.

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