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'Asteroids'
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nelson's user image
nelson
03.02.2003 - 18:52
forum administrator
Picking up from another discussion...

Has anoyone seen that idea of diverting an asteroid's orbit using light? You basically send up a satelite that orbits the asteroid (tricky, but doable - been done before.) The thing then inflates a transparent sheat that asumes a lens shape. By using small solar-powered motors, the lens could be maintained aimed at the same place so that focused light would hit the asteroid on the exact same point... The hot beam of light would vaporise a small bit of asteroid, nudging it a bit. Over some long period, it would be possible to push it considerably (depending on lens size, asteroid size, time available, etc)
richard's user image
richard
03.02.2003 - 19:09
forum administrator
Either that, or you could attach a solar sail to it..?
nelson's user image
nelson
04.02.2003 - 06:35
forum administrator
And how exactly do you do that on a spinning piece of irregular rock?
richard's user image
richard
04.02.2003 - 10:07
forum administrator
There would be two ways of doing this:

1) By anchoring it along an axis of rotation and setting the sail spinning to prevent the wires getting tangled up. This would only work on asteroids with one major axis of rotation; if it was spinning in two axes too quickly, it would not work.

2) 'Wrapping' the asteroid in the solar sail. This would have the effect of pushing the asteroid away from the sun constantly, no matter which orientation it was in.

In addition to option #2, I believe some research has been done to make a sail which you can 'turn off', which electronically turns off the reflectivity of the sail. Using this technique would enable you to fine-tune the asteroids orbit, enabling us to keep it out of harms way and maybe to intecept it for mining purposes.
deathjester's user image
deathjester
04.02.2003 - 15:17
forum administrator
Al very complicated compared to sending a robot the size of a VW to land and throw rocksoff it.

robots is teh way forwarz0rz
richard's user image
richard
04.02.2003 - 16:28
forum administrator
Actually, I reckon wrapping the asteroid in tin-foil would be a damned cheap and simple way of doing it!
deathjester's user image
deathjester
05.02.2003 - 13:14
forum administrator
hmm.

mass of aluminium foil required ?

im thinkings TONS.

thats a VERY big booster rocket required my freind
richard's user image
richard
05.02.2003 - 13:41
forum administrator
Depends on how big the darned thing is, I suppose!

But you do have a point, I'll concede that much.
nelson's user image
nelson
10.02.2003 - 19:01
forum administrator
A 20km x 20km irregular asteroid... uuhhmmn... A bit too much foil, I guess.

The BBC had an overly-dramatic programme about asteroids a while ago, but they had a couple of good explanations on problems and ideas (all explained in slow motion with suspense-movie music...)

Th bit about blowing up nukes on a "spongy" asteroid was particularly interesting. The damn thing just absorbs the explosion and looses a few splinters, but not much else.
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