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Has SpaceX thought about landing on an asteroid, and deploying technology that can either redirect or disassemble an incoming asteroid to avoid or lesson the asteroids impact on earth?

I read NASA's idea's and they seem to be set on blasting them. Which from what I read is less likely to be effective and end in disaster.

Thanks for your time.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you're mistaken that NASA is "set on blasting" any earth-threatening asteroids that may in the future be found. They understand the objections to that as well as anybody. My understanding is that work is being done to study possible approaches, but there is no set plan for what would be done if such an asteroid were found. $\endgroup$ – Mark Foskey Mar 19 '18 at 20:26
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Well SpaceX doesn't plan it's missions (except for current Mars ambitions and the planned Starlink satellite constellation). SpaceX is the company that others hire to carryout their space objectives. If a government wanted to redirect an asteroid, then sure, they could hire SpaceX to get them and their equipment to the asteroid, but SpaceX wouldn't do it on their own. Someone or some country would have to foot the bill.

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  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, I can easily imagine a launch window with a short time limit and SpaceX going ahead and launching while Congress was bogged down with people trying to attach garbage to the funding bill. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Mar 20 '18 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ Possibly,... but if SpaceX were to act without the (U.S.) government signing off on it, they would be fully liable if the mission was a failure and the asteroid came down and wiped out a country or continent anyways. Not to mention if the mission only halfway worked resulting in the asteroid to simply hit a different target! $\endgroup$ – Rickest Rick Mar 20 '18 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ True, but the mission could be scrubbed in flight. One ad on national tv "Call your Congressmen! We have a mission in flight to intercept that asteroid but Congress won't act and we will not actually attempt to deflect it without authorization. There isn't time for any other solution." The phones would melt down and they would have to act. $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Mar 21 '18 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ And of coarse some will cry that money is being spent before it's even approved to be spent. I don't actually know when SpaceX would do in this situation, but I know that private companies tend to avoid getting tangled up in such messes. $\endgroup$ – Rickest Rick Mar 21 '18 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ Whoops, wrong course. $\endgroup$ – Rickest Rick Mar 21 '18 at 14:45
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Has SpaceX thought about landing on an asteroid, and deploying technology that can either redirect or disassemble an incoming asteroid to avoid or lesson the asteroids impact on earth?

Except perhaps for extracting volatiles from asteroids for use as fuel or oxidizer for missions to Mars, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, doesn't see much potential in asteroid mining. He said in an interview with the British Royal Aeronautical Society, "I'm not convinced there's a case for taking something, say, platinum, that is found in an asteroid and bringing it back to Earth."

With regard to planetary defense, there is no indication that SpaceX sees this as their job.

I read NASA's idea's and they seem to be set on blasting them.

That certainly is one idea with regard to planetary defense against hazardous asteroid impacts, and it is the only option if the time frame between discovery and impact is short, where "short" means anything less than a decade. All other options require multiple decades of continued action.

That said, this is not NASA's sole idea with regard to planetary defense, and it is not NASA's sole idea with regard to asteroids in general. NASA's OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft is currently en route to 101955 Bennu with the intent of mapping the asteroid starting later this year and eventually returning a sample to Earth in 2023.

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