Re: OT: Another set of shoulders lost - Hewlett Packard

This is a discussion on Re: OT: Another set of shoulders lost - Hewlett Packard ; Tom asks: > For a 13 year-old, this is an excellent first foray into doing professional > science. Although his basic hypothesis is plausible, his conclusions are > exceedingly unlikely to be true. > > --------------------------------- > > Plausible how? ...

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Thread: Re: OT: Another set of shoulders lost

  1. Re: OT: Another set of shoulders lost

    Tom asks:

    > For a 13 year-old, this is an excellent first foray into doing professional
    > science. Although his basic hypothesis is plausible, his conclusions are
    > exceedingly unlikely to be true.
    >
    > ---------------------------------
    >
    > Plausible how? From a couple of other numbers bandied about in the original
    > article, the asteroid is a couple hundred BILLION tons -- the satellitewill
    > likely change the trajectory about as much as a fly hitting your windshield
    > will cause you to change lanes....


    The mistake that you're making is that you're thinking like some modestly
    evolved, earth-bound, symmetrically bipedal anthropoid ape, whose every
    leaden motion must fight against the friction of dissimiliar surfaces, welded
    together and crushed by the force of gravity onto some meager planetary
    surface.

    In contrast, if your car were in space, every fly impact would alter yourcourse
    a bit. Because of the severity of this effect, NASA has studied a number of
    alternatives to pushing a gazillion tonne asteroid out of the way. Pay special
    to Table 4:

    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/171331main_N...rt_march07.pdf

    One of the options is to simply park a relatively massive spacecraft (on the
    order of one or two hundred tonnes) next to an asteroid, but otherwise not
    touching it, and let it act like a "gravity tractor," slowly altering theorbit of
    the gazillion tonne asteroid.

    Other options include painting a portion of the asteroid black and letting solar
    radiation pressure push the asteroid out of the way.

    By comparison to these alternatives, the fly sounds like the way to go.

    Wirt Atmar

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  2. OT: Another set of shoulders lost

    Wirt Atmar wrote:


    >In contrast, if your car were in space, every fly impact would alter your course
    >a bit. Because of the severity of this effect, NASA has studied a number of
    >alternatives to pushing a gazillion tonne asteroid out of the way.


    Off topic as usual.

    I remember seeing a picture awhile back, where a paint chip severly damaged the Challenger's windshield (1983), the paint chip hit at about 18,000mph IIRC.

    I couldn't find the picture, but it documented here
    http://tinyurl.com/5h6q82

    One scarry quote.

    "The paint chip would likely have punctured the spacesuit of an astronaunt involved in extravehicular activity".

    -Craig


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