Brian Wang of Advanced Nanotechnology hosted last weeks Carnival of Space, which this author was (unfortunately) unable to participate in.
Nevertheless, there were several interesting posts featured, with a few controversial posts entering this space geek roundup, such as:
- Louise Riofrio via A Babe in the Universe enlightens everyone Why Dark Energy Is Bad For Astronomy.
- Phil of Phil For Humanity gives his thoughts about terraforming Mars.
- Chris Reed from Bigelow Aerospace informs everyone on the companies plans to launch a human habitable space station.
- Mark Whittington of Curmudgeons Corner discusses the next 50 years of space exploration (a must read!).
But the best post thus far was by Paul Gilster of Centauri Dreams.
(Centauri Dreams) Flight International's story on this study reports that a nuclear interceptor could deflect a Near Earth Object (NEO) in the range of 100 to 500 meters if launched two years before impact. Larger NEOs might be deflected with a five year lead time. The idea here isn't to blast the asteroid into rubble, much of which would doubtless fall to Earth in any case, but to deflect it by a 'stand-off' detonation near the object. This could be handled in various ways depending on the sequence and the number of available warheads, and running the numbers shows it might just work.
A stand off blast toward an incoming asteroid could enable the human species to survive not only on Earth, but on both the Moon and Mars as well, as raining space rocks are fairly frequent upon those worlds, respectively.
If humanity can figure out more ways to deter these planetary killers from ever threatening our future home worlds, then colonizing our solar system will become a little less dangerous (at least for future generations).
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