Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




DEEP IMPACT
Asteroids Deflected with Paint
by Launchspace Staff
Bethesda MD (SPX) Nov 06, 2012


Artist's concept of Apophis being hit with paintballs (Image: MIT)

Here is another one of those ideas that makes me say, "Why didn't I think of that?" Just last month a graduate student presented a paper at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. Sung Wook Paek in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, came up with the idea of firing paint balls at an asteroid headed for a collision with Earth.

This paper won the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition sponsored by the United Nations' Space Generation Advisory Council, a competition which solicits creative solutions from young professionals.

Idea behind the paint balls is, given sufficient warning an asteroid could be diverted by increasing the asteroid's albedo, or reflectivity.

Thus, the paint would have to be light-colored and applied to the asteroid with sufficient advanced notice to allow solar pressure to divert the large body's trajectory enough to bypass Earth. Paek suggested that his plan would work in two different ways.

Paintballs themselves could impart a slight momentum change to the asteroid, diverting it only slightly, but not enough to avoid Earth. The main effect would come from the paint's increase in reflectivity on the asteroid.

Thus, the pressure of photons coming from the sun, acting over enough time, could result in a large shift in course. Paek concluded that the course of asteroid Apophis, a 27-gigaton rock that is expected to pass close to Earth in 2029 and in 2036, could be changed enough to miss Earth. He estimated that 5 tons of paint would be sufficient to cover the 1,480-foot-diameter asteroid.

Such asteroids are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood.

These asteroids were generally formed in the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers believe these NEOs are bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

Paek's calculations indicate it will take roughly 20 years of exposure to the paint in order to deflect the asteroid away from an Earth collision. Now, let me see if I have this right.

The first close approach will be in 2029 and the paint has to be in place for 20 years. A quick calculation indicates that we have 7 years to send 5 tons of white paint to the asteroid, probably millions of miles distant from Earth, and apply the paint all over the rock.

Assuming this can be done, there remains a slight problem. No one can tell us with certainty, 20 years in advance, that if left alone the asteroid will in fact collide with Earth. So, if we were to mount a huge space program, likely to cost tens of billions of dollars, to send paint to Apophis, what are the possible outcomes?

Assuming we are successful in painting the rock, there will likely be a trajectory deflection. However, the critical question: "Will the asteroid be diverted away from or toward Earth?"

.


Related Links
Launchspace
Asteroid and Comet Impact Danger To Earth - News and Science






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DEEP IMPACT
Paintballs may deflect an incoming asteroid
Cambridge, MA (SPX) Oct 29, 2012
In the event that a giant asteroid is headed toward Earth, you'd better hope that it's blindingly white. A pale asteroid would reflect sunlight - and over time, this bouncing of photons off its surface could create enough of a force to push the asteroid off its course. How might one encourage such a deflection? The answer, according to an MIT graduate student: with a volley or two of space ... read more


DEEP IMPACT
Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Astrium presents results of its study into automatic landing near the Moon's south pole

DEEP IMPACT
Mars Longevity Champ Switching Computers

NASA Rover Finds Clues to Changes in Mars' Atmosphere

Survey Of Matijevic Hill Continues

Preliminary Self-Portrait of Curiosity by Rover's Arm Camera

DEEP IMPACT
Voyager observes magnetic field fluctuations in heliosheath

New NASA Online Science Resource Available for Educators and Students

'First' Pakistan astronaut wants to make peace in space

Space daredevil Baumgartner is 'officially retired'

DEEP IMPACT
Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

China to launch 11 meteorological satellites by 2020

China makes progress in spaceflight research

Patience for Tiangong

DEEP IMPACT
Crew Prepares for Spacewalk After Progress Docks

Crew Preparing for Cargo Ship, Spacewalk

Russian cargo ship docks with ISS: official

Packed Week Ahead for Six-Member Crew

DEEP IMPACT
Russian Proton Briz-M Launches Yamal Satellites Into Orbit

SpaceX Transitions to Third Commercial Crew Phase with NASA

Globalstar Birds To Launch On Soyuz Next February

Ariane 5s are readied in parallel for Arianespace's next heavy-lift flights

DEEP IMPACT
Physicists confirm first planet discovered in a quadruple star system

Planet-hunt data released to public

New Study Brings a Doubted Exoplanet 'Back from the Dead'

New small satellite will study super-Earths for ESA

DEEP IMPACT
ORNL Debuts Titan Supercomputer

UNH Space Scientists to Develop State-of-the-Art Radiation Detector

Samsung muscle versus Apple's 'cool'

1.2 billion smartphones, tablets to sell in 2013: survey




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement