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  • Originally posted by Pirate-Drakk View Post
    It still takes a rocket to get the sail into low Earth orbit. However, if you could make a gigantic Solar Sail, launch it with a huge rocket, and attach it to an asteroid far enough from the Earth, you would be able to change the rocks trajectory just enough to avoid an impact.

    This might also work for a capture mission but one would have to do the logistics of how big a sail would move how big a rock over some amount of time.
    Unless you can launch a series of small processing units to convert lunar regolith into the sail and related components. IIRC the lunar surface does contain a lot of aluminum that might be reduce-able with a simple solar furnace or with the application of electric current provided by solar cells.

    The trick to moving out into the solar system is to quit lofting everything up from the Earth's gravity well. Send up only complex items that require complex manufacture and make all of the simpler structural components on orbit from lunar or asteroidal raw materials.
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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    • Yes 3d printers is our friend in deep space.

      One wonders what the next generation will discover...
      Credo quia absurdum.


      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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      • NMO - Near Mars Object(s)

        Once in a million year comet 'Siding Spring' will pass close to Mars on Sunday and NASA has the best seats in the house

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Mars-Sun.html
        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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        • Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
          Yep. That's why Nasa is pushing the capture idea. Because if we can capture them and put them in a Lagrange point we can start harvesting them.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point






          NASA Langley helps build robot to fetch an asteroid
          By Tamara Dietrich - October 18, 2014

          NASA plans to launch a robotic mission in a few years to capture a small asteroid, haul it home and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon. Then astronauts will fly up to study it, conducting spacewalks farther from Earth than ever before.

          http://www.dailypress.com/news/scien...,1034877.story
          "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

          "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

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          • Or, get Kerbal Space Program and learn just how hard it is to do in this 1/10 scale solar system fun simulator.
            “Breaking News,”

            “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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            • New desktop App.

              A software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge has the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers.
              Analysis of images taken of our solar system's main belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter using the algorithm showed a 15 percent increase in positive identification of new asteroids.
              During a panel Sunday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting. They also announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA in partnership with Planetary Resources, Inc., of Redmond, Washington. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It's a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists.
              The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge was part of NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge. The data hunter contest series, which was conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources under a Space Act Agreement, was announced at the 2014 South by Southwest Festival and concluded in December. The series offered a total of $55,000 in awards for participants to develop significantly improved algorithms to identify asteroids in images captured by ground-based telescopes. The winning solutions of each piece of the contest combined to create an application using the best algorithm that increased the detection sensitivity, minimized the number of false positives, ignored imperfections in the data, and ran effectively on all computer systems.
              "The Asteroid Grand Challenge is seeking non-traditional partnerships to bring the citizen science and space enthusiast community into NASA's work," said Jason Kessler, program executive for NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge. "The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge has been successful beyond our hopes, creating something that makes a tangible difference to asteroid hunting astronomers and highlights the possibility for more people to play a role in protecting our planet."
              The data hunter challenge incorporated data provided by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and images provided by the Catalina Sky Survey, an astronomical survey project run by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and focused on the discovery and study of near-Earth asteroids and comets.
              "We applaud all the participants in the Asteroid Data Hunter challenge. We are extremely encouraged by the algorithm created and it's already making a difference. This increase in knowledge will help assess more quickly which asteroids are potential threats, human destinations or resource rich," said Chris Lewicki, president and chief engineer at Planetary Resources. "It has been exciting for our team to work with NASA on this project, and we also look forward to future space-based systems leveraging these results."
              Astronomers find asteroids by taking images of the same place in the sky and looking for star-like objects that move between frames, an approach that has been used since before Pluto was discovered in 1930. With more telescopes scanning the sky, the ever-increasing volume of data makes it impossible for astronomers to verify each detection by hand. This new algorithm gives astronomers the ability to use computers to autonomously and rapidly check the images and determine which objects are suitable for follow up, which leads to finding more asteroids than previously possible.
              "The beauty of such archives is that the data doesn't grow stale, and with novel approaches, techniques and algorithms, they can be harvested for new information. The participants of the Asteroid Data Hunter challenge did just that, probing observations of the night sky for new asteroids that might have slipped through the software cracks the first time the images were analyzed," said Jose Luis Galache of the MPC. "Moreover, this software can now be used to analyze new images and is available to any observer who wants to use it. The Minor Planet Center applauds these efforts to provide superior tools to all, and looks forward to receiving new asteroid observations generated with them."
              The desktop software application is free and can be used on any basic desktop or laptop computer. Amateur astronomers may take images from their telescopes and analyze them with the application. The application will tell the user whether a matching asteroid record exists and offer a way to report new findings to the Minor Planet Center, which then confirms and archives new discoveries.
              Through NASA's asteroid initiative, the agency seeks to enhance its ongoing work in the identification and characterization of near-Earth objects for further scientific investigation. This work includes locating potentially hazardous asteroids and identifying those viable for redirection to a stable lunar orbit for future exploration by astronauts using NASA's Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. The Asteroid Grand Challenge, one part of the asteroid initiative, expands the agency's efforts beyond traditional boundaries and encourages partnerships and collaboration with a variety of organizations.
              The algorithm contests were managed and executed by NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). CoECI was established at the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to advance NASA's open innovation efforts and extend that expertise to other federal agencies. CoECI uses the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) for its advanced algorithmic and software development contests. Through its contract with the Crowd Innovation Lab at Harvard University, NTL uses Appirio's Crowdsourcing platform powered by Topcoder to enable a community of more than 750,000 designers, developers and data scientists to create the most innovative, efficient and optimized solutions for specific, real-world challenges faced by NASA. Data storage of the Catalina Sky Survey data was provided by Amazon Web Services.
              The new asteroid hunting application can be downloaded at:
              http://topcoder.com/asteroids
              For information about NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge, visit:
              http://www.nasa.gov/asteroidinitiative

              Media Contact
              Sarah Ramsey
              Headquarters, Washington
              202-358-1694
              [email protected]
              Credo quia absurdum.


              Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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              • Asteroid a MILE wide to hurtle past Earth in 48 HOURS - as experts warn of MASS EXTINCTION

                EXCERPTS:
                The gigantic missile thought to measure almost a mile across will brush closer than previous monsters which have sparked a global panic.
                Worried astronomers warned 1999 FN53, which is an eighth of the size of Mount Everest, will skim the Earth in TWO DAYS.
                A collision would be nothing short of catastrophic triggering mass destruction, earthquakes and global extinction.
                The monster is more than TEN TIMES bigger than other meteorites currently visible on NASA’s Near Earth Object radar.
                It is also double the size of the gargantuan 2014-YB35 which had astronomers around the world watching the skies in March.
                ...
                Though several million miles away astronomers fear a slight deviation from its orbit will put it on a headlong collision course with the planet.
                Professor Napier said: “It is a bit like shooting through a key hole.
                “All being well this one is far enough away not to do us any harm, but people are concerned because you just don’t know."
                ...
                http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature...xtinction-NASA
                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                • Asteroid worth £3 TRILLION in precious metals set to pass Earth on Sunday - and YOU can watch it live

                  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...atch-live.html
                  TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                  • Peanut-Shaped Asteroid Zooms Past Earth in Incredible Video

                    EXCERPTS:
                    ....
                    The resulting radar images, which researchers combined into an asteroid flyby video, show that the asteroid, known as 1999 JD6, is a "contact binary" consisting of two lobes joined together.
                    ....
                    The asteroid 1999 JD6 flew within 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers) of Earth — about 19 times the distance between our planet and the moon — in the early-morning hours of July 25. 1999 JD6 won't come that close to Earth again until 2054, NASA officials said.
                    ....
                    http://www.space.com/30211-peanut-sh...yby-video.html
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                    • Latest, but well pass Moon's orbit, so not so close ...
                      NASA confirms asteroid TWO MILES wide will pass close to Earth in 48 HOURS

                      http://www.express.co.uk/news/scienc...Earth-48-hours
                      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                      • Rare merged stars ...
                        http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techno...htV?li=AAa0dzB

                        Oohps! This was supposed to go in the Astronomy Images thread.



                        Last edited by G David Bock; 22 Oct 15, 13:36.
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                        • ‘Armageddon Office’

                          NASA Launches New ‘Armageddon Office’ to Protect Us From Doomsday

                          EXCERPT:
                          NASA formalized the Planetary Defense Coordination Office within its Planetary Science Division on Thursday with the goal of detecting and tracking near-Earth objects as part of its latest effort to facilitate both national and global efforts to combat potential threats.
                          One of the space agency’s main goals in propelling the PDCO forward was to protect Earth from potential asteroid threats by working in tandem with other countries and programs, according to the Huffington Post. To further boost its efforts, NASA recently partnered with the National Nuclear Administration to work toward creating a plan that will use nuclear technology to deflect incoming asteroids.
                          “Asteroid detection, tracking and defense of our planet is something that NASA, its interagency partners, and the global community take very seriously,” said John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in a statement. “While there are no known impact threats at this time, the 2013 Chelyabinsk super-fireball and the recent ‘Halloween Asteroid’ close approach remind us of why we need to remain vigilant and keep our eyes to the sky.”
                          ...
                          http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016...from-doomsday/
                          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                          • How the March asteroid flyby shows Earth on alert

                            Asteroid 2013 TX68 will soon buzz past Earth, providing a window into how NASA handles threats from space.

                            A 100-foot asteroid will complete its second trip past the Earth in March. Asteroid 2013 TX68 first flew past Earth roughly two years ago, but never got closer than 1.3 million miles. This year, scientists expect the small asteroid to come much closer: between 11,000 miles and 9 million miles above the surface.
                            Why the enormous range? Uncertainty over the asteroid's precise trajectory.
                            But scientists are certain that the asteroid will stay in space: “There is no possibility that this object could impact Earth” in 2016, says a NASA press release. (But 2017 is another story: the risk increases to a 1-in-250 million chance of an impact.)
                            With no immediate threat of an asteroid Armageddon, why does Asteroid 2013 TX68’s flyby matter?
                            Because it demonstrates a growing awareness of the risk from space objects.
                            “Asteroid detection, tracking, and defense of our planet is something that NASA, its interagency partners, and the global community take very seriously,” John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate said in January.
                            ...
                            http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techno...Ai6?li=BBnbfcL
                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                            • Here, have fun...

                              http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth

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                              • Don't tell the gorebots ...
                                Medium-Size Asteroid Strike Could Unleash a Mini Ice Age

                                A strike by a medium-size asteroid could change Earth's climate dramatically for a few years, making life difficult for people around the world, a new study suggests.
                                Such an impact on land (as opposed to at sea) could cause average global temperatures to plunge to ice age levels and lead to steep drops in precipitation and plant productivity, among other effects, researchers said.
                                "These would not be pleasant times," Charles Bardeen, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said in December during a presentation at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.
                                ...
                                http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techno...age/ar-BBpnE2c
                                TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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