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Questions tagged [planetary-defense]

Related to the defense of a planet from a major destructive event such as an impact, or searches for or studies of objects (e.g. asteroids, comets or other near earth objects) that potentially pose such a planetary threat. Not to be confused with [planetary-protection], which prevents cross-contamination of life between planets.

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29 votes
6 answers
9k views

Has any space agency saved Earth from a major calamity any time?

Like diverting meteor path away from Earth, or blasting giant asteroid which was expected to impact Earth, etc. Has any space agency saved Earth from a major calamity at any time?
K. Yuta's user avatar
  • 401
2 votes
1 answer
217 views

How Much Could You Deflect the Path of a 500 meter Diameter Asteroid with 100 STAR48 Rocket Motors

Assume we detected a 500 meter diameter asteroid hurling toward Earth at 10 Km/sec (about half the speed of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs). Assume it has a density of 2.4 g/cm and that we ...
Vince 49's user avatar
  • 2,621
26 votes
4 answers
6k views

If an extinction-level asteroid were to be detected, could we avert it?

If an extinction-level asteroid were to be detected on an impact course with Earth, could we avert it effectively with existing technology and systems, such as course adjustment via nuclear missiles? (...
DJG's user avatar
  • 804
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

Puzzler: Why higher solar phase angle (SPA) allows for many more feasible FastKD (kinetic deflection) communications satellite “hijacking” missions?

Space.com's advert-laden Repurposed communications satellites could help save humanity from an asteroid impact ends with: The study results were presented at the Planetary Defence (sic) Conference ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
0 answers
112 views

Why is the Deep Space Network now testing an asteroid redirection mission that hasn't launched yet?

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test is a planned demonstration of the ability of a spacecraft to impact into and redirect the path of an asteroid. The test is part of plans to develop a system to ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
9 votes
1 answer
263 views

Why are DART's solar panels aligned like this?

I've never noticed this before, but the two solar arrays of NASA and APL's DART spacecraft are at different "levels". In this image, the solar panel on the left extends out from the "...
dez's user avatar
  • 386
27 votes
2 answers
1k views

How will the closure of the Arecibo dish impact deep space communications?

Earlier today, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced that it is decommissioning the Arecibo radio telescope. The 305 meter dish is famous for the 1974 message for extra-terrestrial ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
1 answer
144 views

What is "Planetary Defense", and what are the threats one can potentially defend against?

The planetary-defense tag has the current (my) awkwardly-written description. related to the defense of a planet from a major destructive event such as an impact, or searches for or studies of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
52 votes
5 answers
16k 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 ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
595 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 ...
Loren Pechtel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
162 views

Scenarios for asteroids 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 hitting the Earth?

These two NEOs have been appearing prominently in the popular news media recently: Two Gigantic Asteroids To Zip Past Earth on September 14 Two Gigantic Asteroids to Fly Past Earth on 14 September ...
coderGeek's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
698 views

Can objects be deorbited by a satellite using a magnetic field?

Can a magnetic field be made around a satellite for a split second to gain or loose momentum from another satellite or debris with a few passes with a near-miss trajectories on larger debris? Could a ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
1 answer
180 views

How much asteroid can we divert from the Earth?

There are many movies with the Earth being saved by sending a bomb out blow up the asteroid. What realistically could we do to that degree today? Do we have interplanetary missiles? if so how much of ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
6 votes
2 answers
330 views

Asteroid Defense

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 ...
Jason's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why is comet deflection so hard (and how does a fusion rocket help)?

I just read an article arguing that we need very fast rockets for the deflection of comets, since we will probably detect them just several months before impact. So we need to hurry in order to pick ...
choeger's user avatar
  • 2,443
7 votes
3 answers
439 views

Could a cloud of dense gas, such as xenon, deflect a hazardous asteroid?

Impactors or explosive missiles have the advantage of not having to match velocity with an Earth-bound asteroid, so they are cheaper and quicker to launch (or so I understand), and detection need not ...
Koko the Talking Ape's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
124 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....
LocalFluff's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Pedro Paulo Pereira Jr.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
317 views

Could an ARM Option B type of mission be used to deflect a hazardous asteroid?

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission ARM Option B would have a robotic probe pick up a boulder from the surface of a much larger asteroid, and put that boulder in lunar orbit. Boulders considered could ...
LocalFluff's user avatar