Questions tagged [impact]

Questions regarding the collision of one thing with another

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76
votes
6answers
25k views

Is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy payload (a Tesla car) space junk?

Yesterday SpaceX succeeded in the first Falcon Heavy launch, but the payload, a Tesla car has no real useful purpose (except for company prestige). Thus, can it be considered as space junk ? How long ...
74
votes
9answers
25k views

A starship is travelling at 0.9c and collides with a small rock. Will it leave a clean hole through, or will more happen?

Say there is a football sized rock in the path of the ship. Will it create a football sized hole through the ship in the blink of an eye, or will more happen? The ship would be filled with metal, ...
51
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5answers
15k views

Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy?

If an asteroid were detected, shooting towards earth with enough speed and certainty that it would all but guarantee a sequel of the end of the dinosaurs. Observatories and space agencies would almost ...
34
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3answers
4k views

Why are there mountains/mounds in the centre of craters on the lunar surface?

From clear images of moon's surface we can see many of the craters have small mountains/mounds (or montes) in the centre. So, what is the mechanism behind the formation of these mountains and which ...
24
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1answer
5k views

How did two satellites end up in almost the same orbit except moving in opposite directions?

In a series of four tweets starting with this one (found in 2 satellites will narrowly avoid colliding at 32,800 mph over Pittsburgh on Wednesday) 1/ We are monitoring a close approach event ...
21
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1answer
5k views

If a Voyager crashes into something, would we know?

A recent question asked about the feasibility of using Voyager 2 to detect objects in the Oort cloud. The answers indicate, among other issues, the instruments on-board the Voyagers would likely be ...
18
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1answer
943 views

What is the probability of impact?

Space Track is a website dedicated to passing along information about satellites to consumers, primarily satellite operators. The information comes from the US military. In addition to providing the ...
16
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6answers
8k views

Can a nuclear detonation on Moon destroy life on Earth?

If a nuclear weapon is detonated on the moon it would launch debris into space. The debris would then fall to earth like asteroids. Would this impact wipe out life on Earth? In other words, are our ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How many satellites can stay in a Lagrange point?

Lagrange points as I understand it are points in space between 2 objects where the gravitational pull between them is effectively equal. That makes station keeping at these points relatively easy. ...
13
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1answer
4k views

How frequently do asteroids collide with each other?

Space is empty ... lots of empty. Apparently so empty that the risk of collision between a spacecraft of our times, and an asteroid in the asteroid belt is said to be infinitesimal. Running a search ...
13
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1answer
365 views

Would the one million people on Mars be killed by an impact equivalent to an Extinction Level Event on Earth

If there are cities on Mars in the second half of this century with say a million people, they will be living in engineered structures and sustained by agriculture in protected, controlled ...
12
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3answers
7k views

What would happen if an Earth-sized body encountered Jupiter?

As we all know Jupiter is a gaseous planet so what would happen if an Earth-sized object happened to encounter Jupiter? Would Jupiter engulf the object and make it stay at Jupiter's core? Would the ...
12
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7answers
1k views

Is it (or why is it) worse to break up a asteroid on a collision course with Earth?

It is quite common to find (pseudo?) scientific statements to the effect that blowing up asteroids which are heading our way is a very bad idea, and that the movie Armageddon got this point totally ...
12
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2answers
842 views

What risk management options are available for Mars orbiters and rovers to mitigate threat of impacting with Siding Spring cometary debris?

I was reading this article on New Scientist titled Fiercest meteor shower on record to hit Mars via comet. Long story short, the Oort cloud comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is predicted to near-miss Mars ...
11
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1answer
255 views

Asteroid impact on the Moon: which effects cause the flash?

It is most likely that there was an impact on the Moon during yesterday's lunar eclipse. I am trying to get some more understanding of this so that I could maybe do a more detailed video on this ...
10
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3answers
660 views

Could we deal with an asteroid threat given current technology?

If we discovered a sizeable (Tunguska-like mass or larger) near-earth object tomorrow that was on a definite collision course with Earth in the near future, could we deal with it with our current ...
10
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1answer
4k views

Could a gun fired inside the ISS rupture it?

We know there is at least one gun in the ISS the caliber seems to a state secret. According to Wikipedia and NASA large pdf there are over 100 shield configurations on the ISS. These would be ...
10
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1answer
8k views

What happens if an astronaut is hit by a tiny micrometeorite?

A micrometeorite (including space debris in LEO) hitting the metal wall of the ISS would likely cause a shower of secondary high speed fragments. But there are other "softer" materials proposed which ...
10
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1answer
366 views

Any explanation for morphology of within crater formations on the northern Nili Patera caldera of the Syrtis Major volcanic plain of Mars?

The Nili Patera region has enjoyed fairly good media exposure recently, ever since high detail HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) photographs hit the Internet, showing fabulous sand ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Aren't the mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope too unprotected?

I've looked at the design of the James Webb Space Telescope and I got curious about something, some years ago, it seems that the international space station was hit by micro-meteorites. I'm wondering ...
9
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1answer
729 views

How might one approach using AI (convolutional neural network) to predict collisions in orbit?

CNN's Tomorrow's Hero profile Meet Amber Yang. She's trying to prevent a space debris catastrophe describes an investigation into the use of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to predict possible ...
9
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2answers
533 views

Is the UK Space's MoonLITE project still on?

Impacting the Moon with ballistic projectiles to study its surface characteristics through debris plume sounds fantastic to me, especially with the success of previous such missions (or better said ...
8
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1answer
8k views

What impact would a pea size meteor have when it hits the ground?

If a meteorite the size of a pea landed on the road in front of you, what sort of impact would it have? How big would it have been when it entered the atmosphere and would it have been visible during ...
8
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1answer
514 views

What were the circumstances of this impact event on Jupiter in 2012?

I recently came across this video of an impact on Jupiter in 2012: http://youtu.be/5-msU-YVb9E Curious about its origin, I did some research and found that the video was taken at 11:35 UTC on ...
8
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2answers
438 views

How can debris from an impact escape to a stable orbit?

Please help me understand: As far as I understand it, when an object gets thrown off the surface of a planet by an impact and doesn't reach escape velocity it is on a suborbital trajectory and ...
8
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1answer
445 views

How many space craft have been intentionally crashed through 2014?

A couple of comments on the question Has there been any mission to land on a planet or moon in the Outer Solar System? suggesting that there is no scientific benefit to a crash on a moon, reminded me ...
8
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1answer
423 views

Which two satellites had a 44% probability of collision at 2017-01-07 21:53 UTC?

I saw this message on space-track.org: The JSpOC has identified a close approach between two non-maneuverable satellites in a sun-synchronous orbit (approximately 800km altitude) with a time of ...
8
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1answer
326 views

What just happened? What does this satellite breakup announcement mean? What does it suggest?

I logged into Space-Track and immediately saw this message: The 18th Space Control Squadron has confirmed the breakup of SL-12 R/B(AUX MOTOR), #36407. The time of breakup was at approximately 0206z,...
8
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1answer
77 views

Increase in period and semi-major axis following near head-on collision between Cerise and Ariane debris (1996)

This report describes the collision of the French satellite Cerise with a piece of Ariane rocket debris (object no. 18208) in 1996: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?...
8
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1answer
154 views

How are current spacecraft tested for their impact durability?

I imagine the lift-off process itself puts a large amount of stress and strain on the rockets materials. With the amount of debris up in space there is always the risk of rocks to collide with the ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Is there a meteorite from Earth on Mars?

No body is immune to impact by other bodies. Earth too is no stranger to body-play; Micro-micro meteorites accumulate by the giga-ton annually in the form of dust. Larger impact bodies such as the ...
7
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1answer
344 views

Playing football in microgravity: is it hazardous for instruments?

In video documents where astronauts are in micro-gravity, we often see them moving objects without paying attention for the nearby instruments or buttons panels (either aboard spacecrafts or aboard ...
7
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2answers
766 views

What happens to a spacecraft crashing into the Moon?

When planning a new architecture for lunar missions, one always faces the potential of nuclear thermal engines. Having a much higher $I_{sp}$, they offer a much higher propellant efficiency, causing a ...
6
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2answers
156 views

Iridum-Cosmos post-collision vectors

I've been looking at this article. This question is about the motion of fragments in the immediate aftermath of the collision. I've drawn the following figures and quotes from the link. Figure 9 ...
6
votes
0answers
266 views

Why does the Moon's Anaxagoras crater seem sort of jumbled?

Now that very high resolution imagery of the Moon's whole north, above 60oN, can be viewed on one giant awesome zoomable map, I've been taking a close look at a number of craters. Anaxagoras sticks ...
5
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3answers
662 views

What is the typical relative impact velocity of orbital debris in low Earth orbit?

We all know that space is about going really fast. We also know that what matters in a collision isn't really absolute speed, but relative velocity. (Two cars with matched speeds on a highway touching ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Do space organisations take the positions of space junk and satellites into account when launching?

There are so many satellites orbiting Earth now at various altitudes and there is quite a lot of space junk floating around as well. Now although there are so many satellites and so much junk up ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Is deformation of the impact attenuation system visible on the surviving Apollo command modules?

As pointed out in this question, the Apollo command module had crushable ribs along one edge of the base of the cone, and crushable struts that suspended the crew couches inside the vehicle. I've ...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

Understanding gravitational keyhole analysis for Near-Earth Objects

I've been studying the resonant return and gravitational keyhole analysis for NEOs and using the extension of Öpik's theory of close encounters (aka Öpik-Valsecchi theory, Valsecchi et al., Astron ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

How is stability of Geosynchronous Orbits (GSO) affected by Earth’s mass?

I'm researching stable orbits slightly beyond GSO and I need to find out how close to GSO I could place an object without risking collision. If the Earth was homogeneous the altitude should be the ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

What would happen if an object larger than Jupiter hit Jupiter?

What would happen if a large non-gaseous body, equal to or greater than that of Jupiter hits with Jupiter? My assumption is the larger body (name it as A) will have a large gravity and a large mass ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

What are the chances a space probe will make it to another star without hitting a bit of space dust?

tl;dr: What is the density of "space dust" or micrometeorites in interstellar space, and how likely is it that a tiny interstellar craft could avoid hitting any? In a future time we will likely ...
5
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0answers
111 views

Would a kinetic impact “cloud” avoid fragmenting an asteroid to be deflected?

A problem with using a traditional kinetic impactor in one piece, like the one used by Deep Impact, to deflect a hazardous NEA, is that its effects depend on the subsurface composition of the asteroid....
4
votes
1answer
202 views

What prevents all these man-made objects flying in space from colliding with each other?

Does NASA know the location of every object in orbit and they calculate satellite and shuttle launches around not hitting these objects or are they just rolling the dice that the probability of ...
4
votes
2answers
870 views

Extinction asteroid (10-100 km) impact avoidance

With the present "state-of-the-art" of space technology what is possible to do to avoid an Earth impact by rocky bodies 10 km to 100 km in diameter? Is there any international project to develop a ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

How many times were things crashed into the Moon “for science” (seismic events)?

This answer to Did Apollo 13 produce any scientific results? begins: In addition to crashing the Saturn V's S-IVB into the moon to collect seismic data from sensors installed by the crews of Apollo ...
4
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1answer
842 views

Do meteor showers from 209P/LINEAR cometary debris pose a threat to the ISS and other Earth-orbiting satellites?

This is a somewhat similar question to What risk management options are available for Mars orbiters and rovers to mitigate threat of impacting with Siding Spring cometary debris?, only this time much ...
4
votes
0answers
201 views

Do we have a photo of a micrometeorite impact on a lens?

Micrometeorite and debris impacts on orbital spacecraft pose a threat to systems and crew. For example, a high velocity impact caused this chip in the International Space Station's Cupola. The ISS ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Could a satellite in GEO-orbit make an evasive maneuver to avoid an anti-satellite impactor?

Communication satellites orbit at an altitude a couple of hundred times above the satellite that the Indian government recently shot down. Also GPS-satellites are about one hundred times further up ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

How big an asteroid could we take out with an ICBM?

Obviously it's not going to be all that big as the intercept would occur only a few minutes before impact and the rubble is still going to hit. However, if the pieces are small enough they go boom in ...