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Old 6th April 2013, 5:36 PM   #1
chainbolt Thread Starter
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Default NASA wants to lasso asteroid, tow it home

NASA wants to lasso asteroid, tow it home

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President Barack Obama next week will ask Congress to accelerate plans to send U.S. astronauts to an asteroid, moving up to 2021 the nation’s next grand goal for human space exploration, officials said Friday.

First, scientists would identify an asteroid, and in 2019, a robotic spacecraft would snare the space rock and tow it back to an orbit on the far side of the moon two years later.

Then, on the first piloted flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, astronauts would rendezvous with the asteroid and perform spacewalking investigations. The mission would take place four years ahead of a 2025 challenge Obama issued in April 2010.

It would shed light on the origins of the solar system and, officials said, enable the U.S. to develop technologies required for future human expeditions to Mars.
and this:

Quote:
And officials said it could help the U.S. develop capabilities to save the world – to divert any Earthbound, planet-killing asteroid in ways that only Hollywood can now.

“If we ever had the doomsday scenario . . . this would also give us the ability to develop the technologies of capturing or nudging (a threatening asteroid),” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando.
Sounds intriguing.
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Old 6th April 2013, 5:43 PM   #2
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Great, let them save the world

Bit in debt though aren't they?
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Old 8th April 2013, 3:28 PM   #3
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Bit in debt though aren't they?
Probably why they are only asking for 100million to start the project off, rather than ~2.5billion. Also probably has something to do with why they are proposing it as a joint venture with roscosmos.

Much like SLS, in the current political/economic climate, it'll be heavily delayed if it ever gets off the ground.
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Old 8th April 2013, 4:03 PM   #4
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with our current technology i don't see how this is even remotely feasible*

would they take it out of the asteroid belt that is inside our solar system? one would assume that is where it would have to come from. hope they work out how to stop it moving before they work out how to start it moving...

*i'm an engineer not a rocket scientist
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Old 8th April 2013, 4:36 PM   #5
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How hard could it be? Space shuttles have towballs, right?


But seriously, this is cool.
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Old 8th April 2013, 5:17 PM   #6
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Average speed of asteroid according to google search 25km/second = 25,000 m/s
Mass of asteroid they want to tow (lets assume C class asteroid - most common type and might have water): say 500 tonnes at density of 1.38 t/m3 (362 m3 in volume)

Momentum = mv = 12,500,000 kg m/s
Kinetic energy = 1/2 mv2 = 156,250,000 kJ

Maybe we can find a really slow moving one...?
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Old 8th April 2013, 5:23 PM   #7
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with our current technology i don't see how this is even remotely feasible*

would they take it out of the asteroid belt that is inside our solar system? one would assume that is where it would have to come from. hope they work out how to stop it moving before they work out how to start it moving...
It would be a small near earth asteroid, so not from the main asteroid belt between mars and jupiter, that would probably by quite hard at present

It doesn't really require any great leaps in current technology, a fairly modest improvement in the PPU for the thrusters, re-purposing of some existing systems for tracking and discovery etc.

If your genuinely interested take a look http://www.kiss.caltech.edu/study/as...nal_report.pdf for some details that aren't in most of the news reports.
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Old 8th April 2013, 5:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MoorKhan View Post
Much like SLS, in the current political/economic climate, it'll be heavily delayed if it ever gets off the ground.
I'd go so far as to say it will never happen, or at least in any reasonable forseeable future period.
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Old 8th April 2013, 5:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoorKhan View Post
Probably why they are only asking for 100million to start the project off, rather than ~2.5billion. Also probably has something to do with why they are proposing it as a joint venture with roscosmos.

Much like SLS, in the current political/economic climate, it'll be heavily delayed if it ever gets off the ground.
Maybe they can post it on the kickstarter?
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Old 8th April 2013, 6:06 PM   #10
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Maybe they can post it on the kickstarter?
so crazy it might actually work!
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Old 8th April 2013, 6:30 PM   #11
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I can imagine the ultimate aim is not to deflect asteroids but to capture those worth mining.
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Old 8th April 2013, 10:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veefy View Post
Average speed of asteroid according to google search 25km/second = 25,000 m/s
Mass of asteroid they want to tow (lets assume C class asteroid - most common type and might have water): say 500 tonnes at density of 1.38 t/m3 (362 m3 in volume)

Momentum = mv = 12,500,000 kg m/s
Kinetic energy = 1/2 mv2 = 156,250,000 kJ

Maybe we can find a really slow moving one...?
Maybe a really small slow moving one.

Really anything of interest/trackable is going to be 1000t or much larger, so multiply by a thousand.
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Old 8th April 2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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sure beats trying to smack something into it as they have done before.
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Old 9th April 2013, 10:39 AM   #14
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well, i don't think that the 'big wigs' in washington have thought this through with much input from scientists and engineers.

the thought i'm having is how the damn are they going to " catch up" to an asteroid in the first place to even try and " lassoo " it....



Chemical rockets are pretty much useless one were talking those sorts of speeds.

Nuclear explosion propulsion can do it, but would take time to build up speed, however there's this little thing called the no nuclear in space treaty....
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Old 9th April 2013, 11:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MoorKhan View Post
It would be a small near earth asteroid, so not from the main asteroid belt between mars and jupiter, that would probably by quite hard at present

It doesn't really require any great leaps in current technology, a fairly modest improvement in the PPU for the thrusters, re-purposing of some existing systems for tracking and discovery etc.

If your genuinely interested take a look http://www.kiss.caltech.edu/study/as...nal_report.pdf for some details that aren't in most of the news reports.
having a look now, I wonder if they released the report a day late?

it makes more sense to me to at least do initial mineral processing on the asteroid itself rather than dragging the whole thing to earth, why move stuff you don't need to?
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