Monday, April 23, 2012

Blasting Killer Asteroids

This Popular Science article was almost what I was looking for. I've been thinking a bit lately about whether it's really possible to blast an incoming asteroid to smithereens using a nuclear weapon.

The article didn't explain it to my satisfaction. For one thing, the research is all done with computer models. I'm not set very much at ease by computer models. I think they should try it with real missiles. Maybe send one to the asteroid belt and pick a small one to blow up? I'm not sure it would cost all that much. We already have thousands of missiles and warheads we might be able to use.
Speaking of comet and asteroid doomsday movies, you might enjoy this one I saw some years ago. Actually, I'm not sure Doomsday Rock is the one I saw as I don't recall the acting cast being quite the same. William Devane kind of looks like the main character, but I remembered it as being someone else.

It sounds about right, though, with the scientist enlisting some people to take over a nuclear missile silo with intent of taking out a comet, or some such, that's going to impact earth. Problem is, he needs two missiles but everyone thinks he's nuts. The Russians get all jittery when they hear about it and realize he might really be some nutcase that wants to launch on them.

Made for a great movie for me and the end turned out to be a real feel- good, if not a downright tear jerker. That assumes this is the same movie I'm thinking about. Keep an eye out for it should it be on TV again.


At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically, I have to agree with you Fred. Sending a rocket to the asteroid belt is no small endeavor, but it wouldn't cost much in relation to the federal budget.

I'd like to see NASA comprise 1% of the federal budget (instead of 0.5%). That said, computer modeling is vastly less expensive and pretty darn reliable.


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