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Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category: Page 8

Mar 19, 2013

Ten Commandments of Space

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, cosmology, defense, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, military, neuroscience, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, robotics/AI, singularity, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

1. Thou shalt first guard the Earth and preserve humanity.

Impact deflection and survival colonies hold the moral high ground above all other calls on public funds.

2. Thou shalt go into space with heavy lift rockets with hydrogen upper stages and not go extinct.

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Mar 3, 2013

Petition for Americium Emergency Stockpile

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, business, chemistry, counterterrorism, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, physics, policy, polls, rants, robotics/AI, space, transparency, treaties

I continue to survey the available technology applicable to spaceflight and there is little change.

The remarkable near impact and NEO on the same day seems to fly in the face of the experts quoting a probability of such coincidence being low on the scale of millenium. A recent exchange on a blog has given me the idea that perhaps crude is better. A much faster approach to a nuclear propelled spaceship might be more appropriate.

Unknown to the public there is such a thing as unobtanium. It carries the country name of my birth; Americium.

A certain form of Americium is ideal for a type of nuclear solid fuel rocket. Called a Fission Fragment Rocket, it is straight out of a 1950’s movie with massive thrust at the limit of human G-tolerance. Such a rocket produces large amounts of irradiated material and cannot be fired inside, near, or at the Earth’s magnetic field. The Moon is the place to assemble, test, and launch any nuclear mission.

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Feb 20, 2013

ATLAS — Watchmen To The Hour That The Sky Falls In

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, defense, engineering, events, space

With the recent meteor explosion over Russia coincident with the safe-passing of asteroid 2012 DA14, and an expectant spectacular approach by comet ISON due towards the end of 2013, one could suggest that the Year of the Snake is one where we should look to the skies and consider our long term safeguard against rocks from space.

Indeed, following the near ‘double whammy’ last week, where a 15 meter meteor caught us by surprise and caused extensive damage and injury in central Russia, while the larger anticipated 50 meter asteroid swept to within just 27,000 km of Earth, media reported an immediate response from astronomers with plans to create state-of-the-art detection systems to give warning of incoming asteroids and meteoroids. Concerns can be abated.
ATLAS, the Advanced Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System is due to begin operations in 2015, and expects to give a one-week warning for a small asteroid – called “a city killer” – and three weeks for a larger “county killer” — providing time for evacuation of risk areas.

Deep Space Industries (a US Company), which is preparing to launch a series of small spacecraft later this decade aimed at surveying nearby asteroids for mining opportunities, could also be used to monitor smaller difficult-to-detect objects that threaten to strike Earth.

However — despite ISON doom-merchants — we are already in relatively safe hands. The SENTRY MONITORING SYSTEM maintains a Sentry Risk Table of possible future Earth impact events, typically tracking objects 50 meters or larger — none of which are currently expected to hit Earth. Other sources will tell you that comet ISON is not expected to pass any closer than 0.42 AU (63,000,000 km) from Earth — though it should still provide spectacular viewing in our night skies come December 2013. A recently trending threat, 140-metre wide asteroid AG5 was given just a 1-in-625 chance of hitting Earth in February 2040, though more recent measurements have reduced this risk to almost nil. The Torino Scale is currently used to rate the risk category of asteroid and comet impacts on a scale of 0 (no hazard) to 10 (globally-impacting certain collisions). At present, almost all known asteroids and comets are categorized as level 0 on this scale (AG5 was temporarily categorized at level 1 until recent measurements, and 2007 VK184, a 130 meter asteroid due for approach circa 2048–2057 is the only currently listed one categorized at level 1 or more).

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Feb 19, 2013

Human Extinction Looms

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, defense, ethics, events, existential risks, space, transparency

Humanities wake-up call has been ignored and we are probably doomed.

The Chelyabinsk event is a warning. Unfortunately, it seems to be a non-event in the great scheme of things and that means the human race is probably also a non-starter. For years I have been hoping for such an event- and saw it as the start of a new space age. Just as Sputnik indirectly resulted in a man on the Moon I predicted an event that would launch humankind into deep space.

Now I wait for ISON. Thirteen may be the year of the comet and if that does not impress upon us the vulnerability of Earth to impacts then only an impact will. If the impact throws enough particles into the atmosphere then no food will grow and World War C will begin. The C stands for cannibalism. If the impact hits the ring of fire it may generate volcanic effects that may have the same effect. If whatever hits Earth is big enough it will render all life above the size of microbes extinct. We have spent trillions of dollars on defense- yet we are defenceless.

Our instinctive optimism bias continues to delude us with the idea that we will survive no matter what happens. Beside the impact threat is the threat of an engineered pathogen. While naturally evolved epidemics always leave a percentage of survivors, a bug designed to be 100 percent lethal will leave none alive. And then there is the unknown- Earth changes, including volcanic activity, can also wreck our civilization. We go on as a species the same way we go on with our own lives- ignoring death for the most part. And that is our critical error.

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Feb 15, 2013

Told ya so

Posted by in category: asteroid/comet impacts

http://news.yahoo.com/meteor-explodes-over-russia-1-100-…38744.html

I have been hoping for exactly this event; now we will see if we are actually an intelligent species and protect the planet from impacts.

Jan 27, 2013

AIAA Rocky Mountain — Sentinel Program

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, business, defense, education, engineering, events, physics, space

For those in Colorado who are interested in attending a talk by John Troeltzsch, Sentinel Ball Program Manager, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. please R.S.V.P Chris Zeller ([email protected]) by Tuesday, 26 February 2013 for badge access. US citizenship required.

6:00 pm Thursday, February 28th 2013
6:00 pm Social, 6:30 pm Program
Ball Aerospace Boulder Campus RA7 Conference Room
1600 Commerce St
Boulder, CO 80301

It will be good to see you there.

About the Talk:
The inner solar system is populated with a half million asteroids larger than the one that struck Tunguska and yet we’ve identified and mapped only about one percent of these asteroids to date.

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Jan 13, 2013

Water, Bombs, WE CAN GO NOW

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, business, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, existential risks, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, policy, space, transparency

I was recently accused on another blog of repeating a defeatist mantra.

My “mantra” has always been WE CAN GO NOW. The solutions are crystal clear to anyone who takes a survey of the available technology. What blinds people is their unwillingness to accept the cost of making it happen.
There is no cheap.

Paul Gilster comments on his blog Centauri Dreams, concerning Radiation, Alzheimer’s Disease and Fermi;

“Neurological damage from human missions to deep space — and the study goes no further than the relatively close Mars — would obviously affect our planning and create serious payload constraints given the need for what might have to be massive shielding.”

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Jan 3, 2013

Explaining Space Travel

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, defense, engineering, ethics, existential risks, finance, geopolitics, habitats, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, space, transparency

I recently posted this on the only two other sites that will allow me to express my opinions;

I see the problem as one of self similarity; trying to go cheap being the downfall of all these schemes to work around human physiology.

When I first became interested in space travel several years ago I would comment on a couple blogs and find myself constantly arguing with private space proponents- and saying over and over again, “there is no cheap.” I was finally excommunicated from that bunch and banned from posting. They would start calling me an idiot and other insults and when I tried to return the favor the moderator would block my replies. The person who runs those two sites works for a firm promoting space tourism- go figure.

The problem is that while the aerospace industry made some money off the space program as an outgrowth of the military industrial complex, it soon became clear that spaceships are hard money- they have to work. The example of this is the outrage over the Apollo 1 fire and subsequent oversight of contractors- a practice which disappeared after Apollo and resulted in the Space Shuttle being such a poor design. A portion of the shuttle development money reportedly went under the table into the B-1 bomber program; how much we will never know. Swing wings are not easy to build which is why you do not see it anymore; cuts into profits.

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Jan 1, 2013

Cosmic Ray Gorilla

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, defense, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, habitats, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121231180632.htm

Excerpt: “Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts,” said M. Kerry O’Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and the senior author of the study. “The possibility that radiation exposure in space may give rise to health problems such as cancer has long been recognized. However, this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

It appears when Eugene Parker wrote “Shielding Space Travelers” in 2006 he was right- and all the private space sycophants claiming radiation mitigation is trivial are wrong.

Only a massive water shield a minimum of 14 feet thick and massing 400 tons for a small capsule can shield human beings in deep space on long duration missions. And since a small capsule will not have sufficient space to keep a crew psychologically healthy on a multi-year journey it is likely such a shield will massive over a thousand tons.

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Dec 31, 2012

13: The Year of The Comet

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, counterterrorism, defense, economics, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, lifeboat, military, philosophy, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

A happy new year to the human race from it’s most important member; me. Since self-worship seems to be the theme of the new American ideal I had better get right with me.

With my government going over the fiscal cliff it would appear that the damned soul of Ayn Rand is exerting demonic influence on the political system through worship of the individual. The tea party has the Republicans terrified of losing their jobs. Being just like me, those individuals consider themselves the most important person on the planet- so I cannot fault them.

As Ayn Rand believed, “I will not die, it’s the world that will end”, so who cares about the collective future of the human race? Towards the end of 2013 the heavens may remind us the universe does not really care about creatures who believe themselves all important. The choice may soon be seen clearly in the light of the comet’s tail; the glorification of the individual and the certain extinction of our race, or the acceptance of a collective goal and our continued existence.

Ayn Rand made her choice but most of us have time to choose more wisely. I pray for billions, tens and hundreds of billions of dollars- for a Moonbase.

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