bollards for comets

Anton Sherwood (
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 17:09:24 -0700

> Anton Sherwood <> writes:
> > Suppose we've already got a couple of dozen asteroids captured, orbiting
> > Earth somewhere outside geosynch. If the motors that put them there
> > haven't been dismantled, could one of these rocks be shifted into the
> > path of a killer comet, to deflect it and/or break it up?

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Sounds like a fun idea. The trick would be to get them into a
> collision course; changing orbit would be rather slow, so you still
> need plenty of warning to change the inclination and phase to get a
> hit. [and other sensible criticisms]

For a start, you put them in different planes! Say, ten or thirty of
'em in ten planes with icosahedral symmetry.

Given the engines likely to be used for herding the asteroids, how long
could it take to shift one into a suitable orbit? (Remember there's a
wide variety of such orbits.) Weeks?

"How'd ya like to climb this high without no mountain?" --Porky Pine
Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685
!! visiting New Mexico, end of March !!