NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

1
If you’re a fan, like I am, of not being crushed to death by a rock that falls from the sky, then you should be interested in the mission NASA launched today with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft in the nose of that rocket is called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), and that spacecraft is going to smack right into the asteroid Dimorphos in hopes of redirecting its path.

Now, I’m happy to say this is being done not because Dimorphos is actually threatening to hit the Earth but because it makes for a good test subject. See, Dimorphos is part of a binary pair of asteroids and orbits around the asteroid Didymos, so NASA can tell if the impact of DART into Dimorphos affected its orbit around Didymos. It can then use that information to calculate how a similar strike to an asteroid potentially headed to Earth could be deflected.

The spacecraft is small and boxy, and it will hit Dimorphos at an impressive 14,760 mph, sped along by its NEXT xenon ion thruster engine, which converts solar energy into gradual but persistent thrust.

An onboard camera and autonomous navigation software will guide DART to its self-sacrifice into the asteroid, which will change the speed of the asteroid’s orbit around the main asteroid by a fraction of a percent. But that should affect the orbital period by several minutes, all of which will be confirmed by observations from Earth.

DART won’t arrive at the asteroid pair until next September or so, which means you have plenty of time to figure out how to get close if you want a ringside seat.

The ability to deflect an asteroid could one day prove to be absolutely crucial to the safety of everything living on Earth. While, so far, NASA does not predict an asteroid of significant size hitting Earth in the next century or so, there have been 1,200 meteor impacts to Earth from asteroids over three feet in length since 1988, and only 0.42 percent of those—five—were actually predicted in advance.

So, it’s not exactly like we have a really solid handle on this whole asteroid-prediction thing, and figuring out a way to be ready to deflect something would really be a great idea. Ideally, if this test works, a similar deflecting spacecraft will be made available and be ready to go, should the situation arise in the future.
https://jalopnik.com/nasa-is-going-to-t ... 1848117986
Last edited by highdesert on Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid aimed at earth.

13
sikacz wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:19 pm
Mandaliberal wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:53 am Doesn’t the article state it’s not directed at earth but is a good test subject for their mission?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So when they hit it and miscalculate, it’ll probably be heading straight for us.
In all likelihood, no. I'm with you though. There's no possible way this could come back to bite us. :sarcasm: I have deep reservations about non-state actors having access to this kind of tech.

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid aimed at earth.

14
wings wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:30 pm
sikacz wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:19 pm
Mandaliberal wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:53 am Doesn’t the article state it’s not directed at earth but is a good test subject for their mission?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So when they hit it and miscalculate, it’ll probably be heading straight for us.
In all likelihood, no. I'm with you though. There's no possible way this could come back to bite us. :sarcasm: I have deep reservations about non-state actors having access to this kind of tech.
Agree.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid aimed at earth.

15
sikacz wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:46 pm
wings wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:30 pm
sikacz wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:19 pm
Mandaliberal wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:53 am Doesn’t the article state it’s not directed at earth but is a good test subject for their mission?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So when they hit it and miscalculate, it’ll probably be heading straight for us.
In all likelihood, no. I'm with you though. There's no possible way this could come back to bite us. :sarcasm: I have deep reservations about non-state actors having access to this kind of tech.
Agree.

I agree but we seem to have gotten out of the rocket launching business. The rockets were always made by a private corporation, but we controlled the launching and everything else. Their experts were there to answer technical questions.
Last edited by highdesert on Wed Dec 01, 2021 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid aimed at earth.

16
highdesert wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:39 am
sikacz wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:46 pm
wings wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:30 pm
sikacz wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:19 pm
So when they hit it and miscalculate, it’ll probably be heading straight for us.
In all likelihood, no. I'm with you though. There's no possible way this could come back to bite us. :sarcasm: I have deep reservations about non-state actors having access to this kind of tech.
Agree.

I agree but we seem to have gotten out of the rocket launching business. The rockets were always made by a private corporation, but we controlled the launching and everything else. Their experts were their to answer technical questions.
As to your previous comment, I’m not in favor of private corporations having control of this technology or launching rockets. I don’t trust them to do anything for the benefit of mankind or even our country. I suspect all of their real interest is to justify robbing the mineral wealth in space at some point. If they miscalculate, will the people be able to sue for damages or will they point that technology at us like a loaded gun. No one should be that powerful and that is the danger the people face with this generation of billionaires trying to become trillionaires.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

17
Mandaliberal wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:04 am
tonguengroover wrote:Yeah but what if it makes the little one crash into the big one and they all head towards Earth and kill us all?
Image
Cue music


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Funny GIPH, where did you get that?

Instead of wasting time pushing it around space, just attach a rocket to it and put it into our orbit so we can mine it.
"The Worst Monsters are the ones we create. We are the monsters"

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

18
tonguengroover wrote:
Mandaliberal wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:04 am
tonguengroover wrote:Yeah but what if it makes the little one crash into the big one and they all head towards Earth and kill us all?
Image
Cue music


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Funny GIPH, where did you get that?

Instead of wasting time pushing it around space, just attach a rocket to it and put it into our orbit so we can mine it.
I think I just searched “curb” and Larry David pops up. I feel a close connection to him especially when shit backfires on you when you’re trying to do the right thing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

20
FrontSight wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:40 am NASA is getting very close to its first SLS rocket test...just in time for it to be obsolete.
I really don’t get why NASA lacks energy. I’d expect them to lead, not follow. They’ve been working on some of these projects a long time and it seems others are just passing them by.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

22
sikacz wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:56 am
FrontSight wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:40 am NASA is getting very close to its first SLS rocket test...just in time for it to be obsolete.
I really don’t get why NASA lacks energy. I’d expect them to lead, not follow. They’ve been working on some of these projects a long time and it seems others are just passing them by.
NASA seems to have lost the energy or vision after the Space Shuttle accidents. Also their budgets have been frozen with little increase and project cost have increased. There also may be the attitude of, we have always done it this way big multistage rockets. Kinda like the Navy when battleships ruled and aircraft were seen as toys.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

23
TrueTexan wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:41 am
sikacz wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:56 am
FrontSight wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:40 am NASA is getting very close to its first SLS rocket test...just in time for it to be obsolete.
I really don’t get why NASA lacks energy. I’d expect them to lead, not follow. They’ve been working on some of these projects a long time and it seems others are just passing them by.
NASA seems to have lost the energy or vision after the Space Shuttle accidents. Also their budgets have been frozen with little increase and project cost have increased. There also may be the attitude of, we have always done it this way big multistage rockets. Kinda like the Navy when battleships ruled and aircraft were seen as toys.
I suspect you’re right. NASA needs a good swift kick in the ass.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

24
NASA's problem in developing new systems is Congress. To get funding, congress critters will demand things like... "Well if you're going to make a new rocket, it has to use the existing Rocketdine engines that are made in my district". And that engine is a 40 year old design. And that goes on, and on, and on. When it comes to rockets, NASA is prevented from innovating. Which is why they're much happier to just buy a ride, rather than make their own.

The SLS is a re-hash of old, obsolete equipment installed in a much larger overall rocket. It was obsolete by 2019 and it has still yet to even have a test launch. Space X's Super Heavy booster will be literally 5-10% the cost of one SLS launch. Once Super Heavy exists, NASA can dump the SLS idea and just buy rides from Space X and save many millions per launch. Millions they can spend on other projects.

Private companies are in a MUCH better position because they don't have to do it the way Congress wants it...mostly. ULA is pretty expensive relative to current day competition, and still it's many times cheaper than anything NASA has ever built, or going to build. Space X is somewhere between 20-40% the cost per launch of ULA.

Let's look at some numbers, and you'll quickly see why NASA wants to get out of the rocket business.

Cost per launch
SLS - Currrent estimates are $2 Billion (with a B) per launch
ULA Delta IV Heavy - $350 Million
Space X Falcon Heavy - $90 million
Space X Super Heavy Booster - $40 million

Look at the sheer scale of cost savings now that private rocket companies have developed super-efficient, and reusable rockets.


https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2020/03/t ... aunch.html
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: NASA sends up a spacecraft to deflect an asteroid.

25
Yes, but private enterprise goal is to make a profit in the end. If NASA was allowed to make its moves then it would be more economical than a private corporation and any discoveries made is part of the commons, at least it should be. There’s a need for oversight not for handholding and dictating. If you have professional people given a task, they should be given the power to do their jobs. Congress should have better tasks than be the running board of NASA.

I really don’t see why NASA couldn’t have been allowed to do exactly what these companies have done. It follows their costs should have been less or the same.
Image
Image

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 0 guests

cron