Re: ASTRONOMY: Nuclear bombs will not save the earth

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 11:05:28 MDT

> "Terry W. Colvin" wrote: ...These Pollyannas are presumptuous...
> Doug Jones wrote:. The total delta-V needed to divert an object from
> collision given 20-30 years advance notice is only a few millimeters per
> second. This impulse would be delivered, not by a cratering surface or
> subsurface explosion, but by a series of many blasts, each at an
> altitude of .4 radius from the surface....

I wrote my post before I read Doug's and I like his idea better. My
calc of needing a meter per second assumes a miss distance on the
order of a million km, but now I realize that this extravagance is
unnecessary given the accuracy of orbit calculations now available.
Ten thousand km miss distance from the center of the earth would
be sufficient, which would require a delta vee on the order of 10 mm
per second. And a series of nuke blasts at a moderate distance
would work fine for that.

Furthermore, we might *want* to have a close pass, perhaps to
try to capture some of the material in high earth orbit, in order to
make something out of the rubble, such as a space station or the
starship enterprise, etc. spike

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