Yes. There are two relevant questions: what are the odds of a serious earth impact and how soon might it happen. Later on in this writing I will discuss what we can do about it.
Earth has been hit by asteroids and comets since its inception, over 4 billion years ago. Much of the mass of our earth is the accumulation of trillions of tons from impacts. The moon – or the suspected Mars size body that it was before that point – impacted earth. Our moon formed from this impact.
Earth’s atmosphere is entered every day by smaller rock size pieces we see as meteors – shooting stars – and if they actually don’t burn up in the atmosphere and hit the earth they become meteorites.
Ultimately, some piece of space rock of sufficient size – something like a small mountain – will enter our atmosphere and strike our oceans (the largest surface area on earth) or one of our continents and do great damage.
I suspect our government knows right now of such a near future event with a reasonably high probability of this happening. Yes, I am serious.
Let me tell you why I think this. The evidence is there right in front of us. The press- media has bought into what I believe is a fabrication and it never even blinked – so much for media intelligence – Asteroids – meteoroids – the name of the rocks while still in space – are basically of three types – irons – made up of about 95% iron and 5% nickel, stony meteorites – which as the name suggests are a conglomeration of magnesium, silicates, iron and other things, and stony- irons – are, as the name suggests, a mix of each.
President Obama wants us to capture a small asteroid rather than go to the moon.
What possible economic benefit would there be to go mine an asteroid? Every mineral present on an asteroid is present on earth. The cost of mining a pound of iron on earth is about $2 according to the internet. The cost of just transporting iron to earth is about $10,000 a pound. This does not include the cost of mining it. If we mine asteroids, we can either bring ore or refined metal to earth. The cost would be simply ridiculous.
We are not running out of metals on earth, and there is no reason to go get them from space. Someone asked me, “what about the asteroid that is all platinum?” First I doubt it truly exists and finding it would be quite an event – because metals were distributed though out the pre-solar nebula. Heavy metals on earth that are rare are rare because they were formed in rare shock-wave events in type II A and IIB supernovas. If such a platinum or gold asteroid did exist, and if it was brought to earth, the excess supply of gold or platinum would destroy the worth of the metal. It is scarcity that makes things expensive. Not to mention, platinum is about $940 an ounce (gold currently about $1150). Again it costs over $10,000 a pound to transport something back from deep space.
What about people like Larry Page, current CEO of Google and James Cameron and other billionaires who have tossed their names in the ring? Seriously? These investors are going to throw billions of dollars of their own money away to find an asteroid containing gold or platinum and do what with it? It doesn’t do you any good in space – you have to get it down to earth. I think it’s NONSENSE!
How about Obamas idea to NOT GO BACK TO THE MOON, but instead capture an asteroid and redirect its orbit to go around the moon, so that we can work on it, learn to move and manipulate it, and explore it.
For what possible reason? So we can use an asteroid someday as a gas station in space when we explore our solar system? Well that is interesting – but hey, most asteroids are in an orbit on the other side of Mars. So in what decade are we expecting to have moved beyond Mars to need it?
So what do I think REALLY IS GOING ON? I think this is a black-ops program using popular names who will never use their own money, and our government will fund all research that goes on. I think we know something that has not been told to the public or will be.
NASA publishes a list of Potential Hazards. That implies there is a list of Actual Hazards, or Likely Hazards or High Hazards.
So what can we do about this potential hazard? Actually the best thing we can do is exactly what we plan to do – which makes it in my mind, all the more probable. On earth we use industrial lasers to melt and cut huge pieces of metal.
An industrial laser on a space craft orbiting an asteroid can aim and fire at the asteroids surface melting a small circle, which will in turn jet out molten rock and metal into space and act like a small rocket.
Over time that stream of spewing molten rock will slowly push the orbit of the asteroid. If we can move the orbit so that the asteroid can safely pass earth, we have solved that one problem.