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TOPIC: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO


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RE: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO
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The Secure World Foundation (SWF) has warned the UN that it may be too disorganised to avoid disaster in the event of a major meteorite strike.
The group of international experts has outlined the steps it believes necessary to establish a global detection and warning network to deal with possible Near Earth Object (NEO) threats to Earth.

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'Terminator' asteroids could re-form after nuke

The regenerating liquid-metal robots in the Terminator movies have a cosmic relation: incoming asteroids that quickly reassemble if blasted by a nuclear bomb.
If a sizeable asteroid is found heading towards Earth, one option is to nuke it. But too small a bomb would cause the fragments to fly apart only slowly, allowing them to clump together under their mutual gravity. Simulations now show this can happen in an alarmingly short time.

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Can Mirror Bees Save Our Planet?

Researcher Max Vasile and his team want to show that a fleet of spacecraft they call "Mirror Bees" can use sunlight to divert a killer asteroid.
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Professor Michael A'Hearn works to prevent Earth-asteroid collisions

The premise of a giant asteroid hitting the earth and ending civilization has become an increasingly popular threat in movies and video games. But until now, having Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis land on a space rock and nuke it to smithereens has been as close to an asteroid defence plan as NASA has gotten.
Astronomy professor Michael AHearn is working to change that.

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University of Maryland astronomer Dr. A'Hern recently helped complete a study on finding small but dangerous objects.
A space probe the university first proposed sent hundreds of pounds of mass into a comet five years ago.  That explosion was designed to study what's inside but it also proves rendezvous are possible--either with a craft big enough to drag an object off course by gravity or knock it away.

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Top American boffins have warned that the US government's efforts to prevent global apocalypse caused by meteor strike are inadequate. The scientists add that nuclear weapons are the only practical means of defence against large, planet-wrecker sized asteroids.
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Ed
~ nuclear weapons used against large NEOs may only have limited effectiveness and in certain circumstances even increase the devastation power of the asteroid.

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NASA will need more money to fund their effort to catalogue all 90 percent of the near Earth Objects (NEOs) by 2020, according to a study released Friday. 
In 2005 Congress passed legislation providing $4 million per year for identifying the objects and another $1 million to figure out how to protect the earth. But this is not enough.

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Asteroid defence agency
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Panel calls for global 'asteroid defence agency'

The world should organise its defences now in case an asteroid is found on a collision course with Earth, says a group of US scientists.
There are huge numbers of asteroids that come close to Earth's orbit, called near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Millions of them are large enough to do serious damage in an impact, including the asteroid Apophis, which has a small chance of hitting Earth in 2036.
On Friday, a US National Research Council panel led by Irwin Shapiro of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, issued a report on how best to respond to the asteroid threat.

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RE: Avoiding Collision / Destroying NEO
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According to a white paper released at the end of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Planetary Defence Conference in 2007 there are 850 asteroids or comets, perilously close to Earth. Scientists at the conference estimated this list could go up several times in the near future. A 140-metre asteroid can destroy a metro like Delhi within seconds. NASA  believes the impact could be more disastrous than the most powerful atom bomb.
If these celestial bodies are approaching Earth from moon's far side, radio telescopes installed on moon can detect them faster than telescopes on Earth. NASA also believes colonising the moon offers other advantages include mining the rare helium-3 for use in future nuclear fusion reactors - much like Avatar where a group of mercenaries colonize a faraway planet, Pandora, to extract a valuable mineral.

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Only NASA has ventured beyond these two immediate neighbours. At least one mission has been sent to every planet, moon and large asteroid in the solar system, including seven fly-by missions and one probe into Jupiter. We still receive data from two of the four spacecraft NASA launched in the 1970s which are venturing beyond Pluto.
It is leading the charge to resolve humanity's two existential threats. In 2005 former astronauts published an open letter calling for urgent action to strengthen Earth's asteroid defences. There are 40 known impact craters of more than 20 kilometres diameter on the Earth's surface and seven in Australia. In the last 500 million years - about 12 per cent of our planet's existence - the Earth has experienced five ''mass extinction events'' during which over half of all species perished. The Great Dying 250 million years ago wiped out nearly all life on Earth. In each case the most likely culprit was an extra-terrestrial impact.

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