Question: how would you defend the earth against asteroids/comets

  1. Is this Q in the wrong zone I think as was the wormhole one? One of the other zones is more “spacey”. … um … um … short answer detect all NEOs (see link 1) below) then use the most practical in link 2). I like the paint method.

    UPDATE [17/05/2012]
    Or we just mine it until it is all gone, see link 3) below





  2. Recently an asteroid called AG5 was discovered which will pass very close to the earth in 2023. MOST astronomers think that it will pass by us without incident but there is a small chance it could hit us. Some astronauts started campaigning NASA to deflect the asteroid in 2 ways: 1. A mission to the asteroid to observe and find out more about it, 2. Once the properties of the asteroid have been determined, send a second mission to slam into it as hard as possible to move it off it’s orbit. NASA decided that the odds of it hitting us were practically zero, but the asteroid will come close to us again next year so if they change their mind, that will be the last chance to do something about it.


  3. I like @Dirk’s answer, especially since I know nothing about planetary defence systems.

    From the URL given by @Dirk:

    10. Nuke It
    9. Hit It
    8. Paint It
    7. Strap Solar Sails to It
    6. Ensnare It
    5. Point Mirrors at It
    4. Strap a Rocket to It
    3. Tow It with Gravity
    2. Have Robots Munch on It
    1. Brace for Impact!

    I will go with #2, have a bunch of robots eat the astroid up. I guess we should be careful with those astroid eating robots. If they get loose, they could eat up earth instead!



  4. This has been answered pretty well already, but if I had a choice, I go for the deflection approach that Renee mentioned. If that didn’t work, I’d vote to send Harry Stamper and crew to nuke it (in case you haven’t seen the film “Armageddon” Harry Stamper and crew man a mission to an asteroid that is going to hit the earth!).


  5. I would definitiely go with deflection, but I wonder if an impact close by would alter our orbit???