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NASA plans Armageddon nuke spacecraft to blast asteroid

#1
http://www.flightglobal.com/article...-armageddon-spacecraft-to-blast-asteroid.html
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has designed a nuclear-warhead-carrying spacecraft, to be launched by the US agency's proposed 's Ares V cargo launch vehicle, to deflect an asteroid that could threaten all life on Earth.

The 8.9m (29ft)-long "Cradle" spacecraft would carry six 1,500kg (3,300lb) missile-like interceptor vehicles that would carry one 1.2MT B83 nuclear warhead each, with a total mass of 11,035kg.

Launched by an Ares V, the spacecraft would leave low-Earth orbit using a 45,359kg liquid-oxygen/liquid-hydrogen fuelled "kick stage".

The spacecraft's target near-Earth object (NEO) is the Apophis asteroid, which will pass by the Earth within the orbit of the Moon in April 2029.

For the study, however, its orbit was changed to bring it into a "dead-centre" collision course with Earth and its mass was assumed to be 1,000,000kg. The spacecraft's possible launch dates were 2020 and 2021.



Just read this in Flight International. Now im no expert but is this even remotely feasible?

I was quite convinced by Jason Isaac's firecracker-singeing-the-palm-of-your-hand-analogy in Armageddon!
 
#2
I'm no expert but we certainly could hit an asteroid... would be child's play compared to tagging that comet a year or so ago. My best swag (sophisticated wild arsed guess) is that we need not actually destroy said threat object, only deflect it and a nuke popping certainly would influence it's tragectory.
 
#3
deflect it?

Millions of tons of rock, hurtling at 1000s of miles per hour.

should be doddle :p
 
#4
Can room still be made on board for Bruce Willis (and his fcuking white vests) and Ben Afflek?
 
#5
And a load of chavs that we don't need down here?
 
#7
or it might break into hundreds of pieces and decimate the population...do they really know what they are doing?
 
#9
Bossdog said:
or it might break into hundreds of pieces and decimate the population...do they really know what they are doing?
Don't worry, its not rocket science. Oh hang on...
 
#10
Garhwal said:
We've already landed a spacecraft on an asteroid/comet http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/news/2001/news-NEAR.asp

A better proposal is to land a series of craft onto the surface, then orientate ion propulsion engines carried by the craft in a specific direction. This in time would change the orientation of the body. As long as we spot the danger early enough to get craft to it!
That would have to be done at enormous distances as the Delta V imparted by ion engines is miniscule although continuous. We would simply not detect it far out enough to make any real difference given that they would come from just past Mars orbit.

Nuke the feckers!
 
#11
That would have to be done at enormous distances as the Delta V imparted by ion engines is miniscule although continuous. We would simply not detect it far out enough to make any real difference given that they would come from just past Mars orbit.

Nuke the feckers!
Surely that is the one thing that you do have a supply of in space?

The B612 Foundation have an issue with the Boom Boom solution and they have been giving it some serious thought (not related to the question "How do we keep all these Nuclear guys employed?"). I reckon this is a classic Military/Industrial complex boondoogle.

That said I could see this as the tool of last resort for a new object from the Oort cloud.

More Info Here.
 
#12
CutLunchCommando said:
That would have to be done at enormous distances as the Delta V imparted by ion engines is miniscule although continuous. We would simply not detect it far out enough to make any real difference given that they would come from just past Mars orbit.

Nuke the feckers!
Surely that is the one thing that you do have a supply of in space?

The B612 Foundation have an issue with the Boom Boom solution and they have been giving it some serious thought (not related to the question "How do we keep all these Nuclear guys employed?"). I reckon this is a classic Military/Industrial complex boondoogle.

That said I could see this as the tool of last resort for a new object from the Oort cloud.

More Info Here.
True, but it is a relative term.

We won’t detect it at anywhere near sufficient distance to design, plan and mount a mission using ion drives, allowing the time to produce enough course correction; the specific impulse of ion engines is minimal anyway.


Any physicists/ rocket scientists etc here feel free to contradict me.


I'll get my anorak.... :oops:
 
#13
CutLunchCommando said:
That would have to be done at enormous distances as the Delta V imparted by ion engines is miniscule although continuous. We would simply not detect it far out enough to make any real difference given that they would come from just past Mars orbit.

Nuke the feckers!
Surely that is the one thing that you do have a supply of in space?

No, he means REALLY large distances - by the time we find the object, prep a mission, get the ion motor to the object and get it firing with all the fury of air escaping from a balloon at a kids party (ion engines have very, very low thrust!) and apply that much dV to a few tonnes of rock travelling at enormous velocities, we would need mahoosive amounts of distnace to play with.
 
#14
BlotBangRub beat me to it!
 
#15
Purple_Flash said:
CutLunchCommando said:
That would have to be done at enormous distances as the Delta V imparted by ion engines is miniscule although continuous. We would simply not detect it far out enough to make any real difference given that they would come from just past Mars orbit.

Nuke the feckers!
Surely that is the one thing that you do have a supply of in space?

No, he means REALLY large distances - by the time we find the object, prep a mission, get the ion motor to the object and get it firing with all the fury of air escaping from a balloon at a kids party (ion engines have very, very low thrust!) and apply that much dV to a few tonnes of rock travelling at enormous velocities, we would need mahoosive amounts of distnace to play with.
Why thank you Sir!

I agree. :D
 
#19
you could use nukes - somebody once came up with project orion. You take a really big dome of iron (REALLY BIG - v. thick too), and set off nukes underneath it, one after another to provide a means of propulsion. The idea being to lift very big payloads into space, like small towns. Some downsides obviously, like decimating a large part of the countryside, but was well researched before somebody considered the PR side.
It was mentioned in deep impact (incorrectly), and the Sci-Fi novel "Footfall" by Niven & Pournelle.
Theoretically, if used in such a manner, a large quantity of delta V could be generated to alter an asteriods course.
 

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