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Comments on NEOShield Asteroid Deflector Project Funded By EU
'It is similar to deflector panels I've seen, Captain, but far more complicated.' (Read the complete story)

"I'm pretty sure that they'll find that there is really no ONE way, just as there is no ONE type of asteroid. But there is probably a preferred way for each type. "
(Dewtey 2/13/2012 10:24:09 AM)
"I'm wondering if they'll actually take into account timeframes necessary. Has the detection estimate increased significantly since over the last ten years? If we're likely to have less than a week between detection of a previously undetected asteroid and its impact, that would make the "gravity tractor" solution unworkable, even if it were the best solution otherwise. (just as an example of a point I have not yet seen actually brought up in any of these studies)"
(Ashley 2/13/2012 3:06:56 PM)
"All the studies I've seen have assumed perfect conditions... Knowing for years (or decades) ahead of time that the asteroid is incoming, having the entire infrastructure for defense already fully in place (and in the perfect position to be used against the particular asteroid involved in the scenario), the government agreeing instantly both that the asteroid is a danger that needs dealt with and how to deal with it, etc. None of those conditions is really at all realistic, but I've yet to see any study dealing with "what we might be able to do to stop an asteroid from destroying us if we find out only at the last instant and aren't already ready to deal with it.""
(Ashley 2/13/2012 3:09:41 PM)
"The best thing would be to first catalog all of the objects that can be seen, that could possibly intersect the orbit of Earth. In the 2005 NASA Authorization Act, Congress mandated that by 2020 NASA should be capable of detecting at least 90 percent of objects over 140 meters wide in the vicinity of Earth's orbit. NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SURVEYS AND HAZARD MITIGATION STRATEGIES, an interim report of a congressionally mandated study by the National Research Council, examines NASA's current ability to survey and detect these near-Earth objects. You can actually buy this report; see Secondly, you'd ideally have something that did a better job of detection than comet spotters and other amateur astronomers."
(Bill Christensen 2/13/2012 3:10:04 PM)
"It's surprising that we haven't done more work in this area, since sf writers thought about it in the Thirties. See the Meteor Warning System from Edmond Hamilton's 1932 novel A Conquest of Two Worlds."
(Bill Christensen 2/13/2012 3:14:12 PM)
"Here's what it looks like when the planetary asteroid deflection device is in operation (in Star Trek, that is).

Thanks to Moira for the tip on this picture."
(Bill Christensen 2/14/2012 6:06:10 PM)

"Detection of Near Earth Asteroids has gotten much better in the past decade. Back in 2001, we only knew of about 1000 of them. As of today, JPL/Sentry has the number at a touch over 8500. And we (the Earth's scientific community) is finding new ones at the rate of about a thousand a year."
(Dewtey 2/14/2012 6:17:09 PM)
"From NASA's Near Earth Objects Program:

(Bill Christensen 2/14/2012 7:36:08 PM)

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