Russia in secret plan to save Earth from asteroid: official

Dec 30, 2009
This 2001 picture taken by the Galileo spacecraft shows asteroid 243 Ida. Russian scientists will soon meet in secret to work on a plan for saving Earth from a possible catastrophic collision with a giant asteroid in 26 years, the head of Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

Russian scientists will soon meet in secret to work on a plan for saving Earth from a possible catastrophic collision with a giant asteroid in 26 years, the head of Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

"We will soon hold a closed meeting of our collegium, the science-technical council to look at what can be done" to prevent the Apophis from slamming into the planet in 2036, Anatoly Perminov told Voice of radio.

"We are talking about people's lives," Perminov was quoted by news agencies as telling the radio station.

"Better to spend a few hundred million dollars to create a system for preventing a collision than to wait until it happens and hundreds of thousands of people are killed," he said.

The Apophis asteroid measures approximately 350 metres (1,150 feet) in diameter and RIA Novosti news agency said that if it were to hit Earth when it passes nearby in 2036 it would create a new desert the size of France.

Perminov said a serious plan to prevent such a catastrophe would probably be an international project involving Russian, European, US and Chinese experts.

Interfax quoted him as saying that one option would be to build a new "space apparatus" designed solely for the purpose of diverting Apophis from a collision course with Earth safely.

"There won't be any nuclear explosions," Perminov said. "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics. We will examine all of this."

In a statement dated from October and posted on its website, the US space agency NASA said new calculations on the path of Apophis indicated "a significantly reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with Earth in 2036."

"Updated and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a-million," said.

RIA Novosti said the asteroid was expected to pass within 30,000 kilometres (18,600 miles) of Earth in 2029 -- closer than some geo-stationary satellites -- and could shift course to hit seven years years after that.

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User comments : 85

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LKD
4.6 / 5 (16) Dec 30, 2009
Nice article. Juxtaposedly, I loved the line: "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics." As if that was an option. XD
AceLepage
4.5 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2009
Interesting to note that many countries may join the race to divert Apophis. If all do not agree on same course of action, it could spawn a space race to get to Apophis.
NotAsleep
4 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2009
The headline should've been "Breaking News: Physorg discovers Russia in secret meeting to save the earth!"

If the later quote about the serious planning being an international affair is taken at face value, they're saying that the "secret planning" is somewhat pointless... perhaps watching Armageddon a few times to study their techniques?
LKD
1 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2009
NotASleep,

My eyes skipped right over that. That's a good point.

I also wonder what they can possibly get operational in space for only a few hundred million. Or are other countries expected to give money to the program they develop?
yyz
3 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2009
"...the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a-million,"

Maybe the Russians need this meeting to figure out for themselves the obvious ...the odds of a collision have dropped significantly. Not that they were that close to begin with. And the new NASA orbital analysis did of course look closely at the 2029 approach.
Phelankell
5 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2009
We've already proven that Apophis will not be hitting Earth unless something changes the trajectory.

Why would Mother Russia do this unless it was part of a plan to deal with Moose and Squirrel?
Doug_Huffman
2 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2009
Does no one else remember the Precautionary Principle?

Some are convinced that there is little chance of a strike, who do they blame/sue if Apophis is disturbed into a strike?

I suggest that a safer option in this race is to shoot down any Apophis bound mission. And I recall a lesson from freshman physics in transfer of momentum. Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed to nonsense.
plasticpower
2.8 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2009
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but did anyone consider the fact that maaaaaaybe the numbers were slightly tweaked to avoid some kind of mass panic? This is a pretty chunky rock, that could affect a huge number of people if it lands in the ocean and spawns a tsunami or something of this natrue. As far as quotes by russian officials presented here, things are often translated wrong.
frajo
3.1 / 5 (9) Dec 30, 2009
Nice article. Juxtaposedly, I loved the line: "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics." As if that was an option. XD
Well, if we consider the pseudo-scientific research that formerly has been done in Russia (parapsychology) and the US (UFOs) the restraint to physics only is indeed remarkable.
kydoc
3.5 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2009
Kind of them to stick to the laws of physics and not just levitate their rocket using their collective brainwaves. I tend to believe NASA's estimates of a collision over the Russian argument that "we can't estimate for another 22 years." It's more likely that they'll cause a human-created disaster than anything ese if they stick to their plan.
defunctdiety
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 30, 2009
Not that they were that close to begin with.

Actually 1 in 45,000 is pretty scary. Just over two earth diameter's away is nothing to sneeze at, especially if that thing was significantly bigger.

Or maybe I'm just thinking that because I just got finished reading "Lucifer's Hammer", a couple weeks ago... :P

Anyway, it's only a matter of time before we will need a gravity tractor... why not start now?
antoan
3 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2009
Nice article. Juxtaposedly, I loved the line: "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics." As if that was an option. XD

...god forbid they resourt to some evil form of metaphysics :) Sounds like a cover for their future version of a missile defence shield, as a retaliation to Washington's plans to set up parts of its own in Europe, lol.
snivvy
1.9 / 5 (18) Dec 30, 2009
Wait 'til Obama, Algore and the rest of that crowd find out about this. Another excuse to increase our taxes and take away more freedoms. I wonder if they can find a way to blame George Bush at the same time. Hey! This might be more serious than global warming!
kydoc
4.3 / 5 (13) Dec 30, 2009
snivvy, What on earth (or above it, as a matter of fact) do Obama or Al Gore have to do with a Russian asteroid plan? I think you found the wrong site -- try rightwingnutjobs.com next time.
NeilFarbstein
3.6 / 5 (5) Dec 30, 2009
since a failure might cause an asteroid hit on earth, we should demand that the russian government tells all of its plans to the rest of the world.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2009
Why would Mother Russia do this unless it was part of a plan to deal with Moose and Squirrel?
Haha- I would be unfortunate if they were only able to change the trajectory from Siberia to Phoenix. Personally? I believe this tech has already been tried, in secret of course, with nukes and without, on one or more of the several near-misses we've had in the previous 50 yrs. The potential is too dire and the effort too important not to have tried it out as soon as it became possible- and it has been possible for the last 50 yrs. NASA/Nazi brains and USSR secret launchsites scattered behind the iron curtain; 16 failed Russ missions to mars with probes suited for asteroid monitoring/landing/delivering? A Soviet man-capable moon capsule missing from orbit- suicide mission? 250T of cargo delivered to Mir that we know about? Anti-Gemini defensive rockets aboard the first Soviet manned capsules? For What?? I could go on-
otto1923
Dec 30, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dmcl
3.7 / 5 (6) Dec 30, 2009
or the headline could have been "military industrial complex cooks up new threat to justify career continuity"
ISEEE
4.5 / 5 (8) Dec 30, 2009
Why don't they create an the Asteroid (Save the Earth) X Prize. I am sure entrepreneurs will be more efficient in developing a way as opposed to multiple bureaucratic countries. Then the country that does it can have bragging rights that they saved earth. Forget about who made it to space, the moon and mars first. Money makes mankind think and glory makes the do!
winthrom
4 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2009
I think it is strange that some practical advantages of this sort of program are not considered: Moving massive bodies into/out of orbit is a practical way to initiate terra-forming. E.g., dump icy comets onto Mars and the Moon, and then there is there is raw material rocket fuel for the taking. Then, we might even cool of Venus. Also, in case no one was looking, controlling gravity is the big prize that physicists are really after. I suspect the Russians are having secret meeting because they are keeping their research close to the vest. Some other solution may also be in the works that they do not want to "out" until they talk among themselves. The current interest in the remote possibility of the collision is great cover for much more interesting research. However, since I am not a Pollyanna, also consider that until the chances of collision are much lower than projected, prudence says: "Find a solution to asteroid-Earth collisions."
GaryB
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 31, 2009
Um, what if they do something really stupid like nuke it breaking it into a zillion radioactive pieces many of which would then hit Earth, take out satellites and put millions of new pieces of space trash orbiting earth?
Mercury_01
3.5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Rock on, brother Russkies! Thanks a trillion. I cant understand why the rest of the posters choose to discuss other topics, as if they feel emasculated by our Russian science brothers?
And then theres frajo, who chooses to strike back in complete and total childlike ignorance.
Mercury_01
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 31, 2009
You guys need to get off your high horses. The point of the article is that some Russian scientists are getting funding to develop their skills at diverting near earth objects. Political posturing or otherwise, how 'bout you get your big boy panties on and give them some support? your constant biting and hair pulling makes me sick, and sorry to be a scientist. Bunch of women in here. Gimme a break.
moebiex
3 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
winthrom- I like the idea of developing options and I like the one about 2 birds with one stone- diverting it an impact that could help us out in future endeavours on places like Mars. A good challenge as well. The moon strikes me (ouch- another bad pun) as a bit too close- a bad bounce and there might not be not enough time to respond to something too big.
designmemetic
3.8 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Cost analysis?

1/4,000,000 = probability it will hit and destroy france sized area.

$2.85 Trillion GDP(France) * 200 years(time to repopulate and restore) = 570 Trillion Dollar loss from impact.

570 Trillion/4 million = $142,500.

So the value of preventing the possibility is $142,500? Anybody else have some number on whether this is worth doing right now? this seems a little low and maybe we should add some secondary benefits such as probability of any asteroid if the program could be repurposed as a general planetary defence system. Also might factor in global effect of impact such as climate change. Maybe theres some secondary benefits in terms of research or knowledge generation we can put a dollar sign on? then again it could land in the water or other unpopulated regions and not matter so much to GDP.
Kedas
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
Well the propability is calucated based on its current course this means we assume it will stay on that course.

Any small rock that collides with it can change the course.(the further away it is in time the smaller the 'needed' push is)

The ironic thing would be if we would build a device to change the course but make sure it collides with earth (prefereable on an enimy country)
And the funding will be provided without problem (to do the opposite). It's like a free military budget.
Buyck
4 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
Russia is a land of secrets. Nice plan i must say! Is it true that Russia is also working on a nuclear powered spaceship? I heard that they have started the project.

Russia to start research into spacecraft nuclear engines in 2010.
http://en.rian.ru...824.html

frajo
1 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
Rock on, brother Russkies! Thanks a trillion. I cant understand why the rest of the posters choose to discuss other topics, as if they feel emasculated by our Russian science brothers?
Ok.
And then theres frajo, who chooses to strike back in complete and total childlike ignorance.
Not ok. Neither the CCCP struck me nor I struck them. Some hints:
http://en.wikiped...Kulagina
http://en.wikiped...lue_Book
http://www.googleguide.com/
ealex
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
Something gives me a feeling of "Err... chhh.. Houston, we have a problem".

We should probably wait until sometime closer to a last window of opportunity to change it's trajectory and make sure it IS going to hit, before trying to change it's path and turn that 1 in 4 million into 1 in 4.

Otherwise, let the conspiracy talks roll! Anyone think there's any coincidence that the asteroid was named after a famous Goa'uld ? *wink wink*
Doug_Huffman
2 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
It is not possible to transfer momentum from Earth to Apophis. Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed to nonsense.
frajo
1.8 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Anyone think there's any coincidence that the asteroid was named after a famous Goa'uld ?
It was given the Greek name of a character of the ancient Egyptian mythology because two of the co-discoverers are fans of a well-known TV series which uses the same Greek name. http://en.wikiped..._Apophis
Alexander
4.8 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
It is next swindle of Russian scientists to receive financing of this project. Actually to push away an asteroid very simply. It is easy for making by means of a nuclear bomb capacity of 20 kilotons which can be delivered any rocket of average capacity, for example "Proton".
Phelankell
5 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
You wouldn't use a nuclear weapon to disturb the path of a large space body. The Russians are planning to deliver rockets to the object and send it sunward. Just as NASA was planning to do prior.
PavlisDamanis
1 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2009
Why the hell is an Egyptian deity taking aim at Earth anyway ? Maybe we can just send Al Gore up to Apophis to explain that hitting the Earth will be detrimental to his planned release of his new book "Earth will be Fried by Global Warming caused by Man". :p
frajo
2 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Why the hell is an Egyptian deity taking aim at Earth anyway ?
It wasn't a deity, it was an evil demon, adversary of the deity Ra.
http://en.wikiped...iki/Apep
Mr_Frontier
5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Who cares if it's the Russians, or U.S, or China who starts it first, it's a chance to develop and then test gravity tractor technology on an large orbit object. It should absolutely be international so that one nation doesn't become an ego driven machine requesting reparations for saving "victims". It's the perfect chance to demonstrate self-less multi-national space collaboration.
Anyway, an idea could be to keep a satellite around Earth or the Moon, waiting, ultimately to break away and "latch" onto a suspecting asteroid. If you can safely bring the satellite to zero-velocity in reference to the object, possibly landing it on its surface, the thrust from slowly pulling away from said object is effective. Nevertheless, the data capture potential in this expedition is definitely valuable for later and/or similar missions. You can't afford not to.
PavlisDamanis
2 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
Why the hell is an Egyptian deity taking aim at Earth anyway ?
It wasn't a deity, it was an evil demon, adversary of the deity Ra.
http://en.wikiped...iki/Apep


Haha u r right ! But then again... How did the Stargate production team pull this one off ?
PavlisDamanis
1 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
Anyone think there's any coincidence that the asteroid was named after a famous Goa'uld ?
It was given the Greek name of a character of the ancient Egyptian mythology because two of the co-discoverers are fans of a well-known TV series which uses the same Greek name. http://en.wikiped..._Apophis


DENIED !!!

http://en.wikiped...#Apophis

LOL ;)
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
It wasn't a deity, it was an evil demon, adversary of the deity Ra.
What you think deities are only the good guys? I submit Marduk, Loki, and Glorificus
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
The moon strikes me (ouch- another bad pun) as a bit too close- a bad bounce and there might not be not enough time to respond to something too big.
570 Trillion/4 million = $142,500.
And the value of practice ASAP with this inevitable and extremely useful but dangerous skill? Priceless.
Arkaleus
3 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
Could we be seeing the beginnings of Russian exotic weapons research? It wouldn't take much to move this rock into a collision course with certain regions of the earth. That's the unspoken dual-use nature of such a mission.

Not that I don't expect fine members of the KGB like Mr. Putin to rule his fiefdom with a iron, yet compassionate fist, but we are foolish to trust a Russia who is busy making new space weapons to destroy the west with.

Any mission to alter the trajectory of Apophis needs to be open and international. No nation should try this by itself, simply for security reasons!
Phelankell
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
Could we be seeing the beginnings of Russian exotic weapons research?

This isn't the beginning. The Russians had some pretty kooky stuff when the Iron curtain fell. They also realized that the US had far weirder stuff in addition to a far larger conventional arsenal.
otto1923
4 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
@arkaleus
No nation should try this by itself, simply for security reasons!
A popular sci fi scenario. Dont worry, the Russ are on our side. This is another good reason for practice. With more entities venturing into space it is essential that the Powers master this ability first which includes finding ways of countering it.
@phelankell
Are scalar weapons real? Some think so.
NeilFarbstein
5 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
Scientists have found a gigantic mascon under santa Cruz california leading to the conclusion it was hit by an asteroid.
flaredone
3 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2009
If this plan existed, why they're organizing a scientific colloquium just now? And if Russia is on our side - why they're organizing "colloquium" in secret, i.e. not in cooperation with other countries? If they've evidence, asteroid should impact the Earth, why they're not giving it to us. If they haven't, why they're lying whole world?

Nope, no such plan ever existed, it's just a very fresh example of voluntary Soviet propaganda of old times from its very beginning. Russians are just trying to collect justification (and possibly money) for their sending of nuclear weapons and space-ships to orbital path, which would enable them to terrorize the rest of world. The probability of failure of such spaceships in Earth atmosphere and global nuclear pollution is quite high and whole project, if it will be organized (which I seriously doubt) can even increase the possibility of Earth destruction at the case of its failure.
Phelankell
4 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
@phelankell
Are scalar weapons real? Some think so.

Doubtful. Scalar weapons are the invention of crackpot minds. If we did have anything remotely close to what proposed scalar weapons are I'm fairly sure we'd be controlling weather with them for our benefit rather than blowing things up for another's detriment.

That and I'm fairly sure they'd require new physics. Or at least physics that most physicists are unaccustomed to.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
we'd be controlling weather with them for our benefit
Dont you think that if the general public knew their govts had the limited capability to alter climate, redirect hurricanes, cause earthquakes, it would 1. destabilize markets and 2. cause political mayhem as different groups demanded it be used for their benefit? Wouldnt the public demand the abandonment of all this valuable research into alternative energy and weaponry if they knew it wasnt really needed for the stated purposes? Some tech advances need to be kept secret and used sparingly or they would destroy economies and ruin govt authority. Nicht war? Even though we could be able to divert asteroids with scalar tech we would have to pursue conventional means because others inevitably would; and further, we would have to imply that they were are only alternatives possible.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
why they're not giving it to us.
They ARE us. 2 sides- 1 coin. There are no enemies in this world that havent been created for the purpose. It would simply be too dangerous to let enemies arise by themselves- much better to create them yourself to collect inevitable malcontents and dissident forces so they can be used to your benefit. Any objective study of history shows that those who attain positions of power and authority could not have done so without the assistance of skillfully created adversaries.
flaredone
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
..there are no enemies in this world that haven't been created for the purpose..
Enemies not, competitors yes. Ants have no enemies, but they've competitors - so they're attacking them in advance. The existence of such aggressive behaviour follows from natural laws and Russians cannot avoid it.

If Russians want really want to save world, why they're pretending, they've plan, which they haven't? Why they want to develop & keep this plan in secret? Why they're claiming, Apophis will hit the Earth with no further evidence? etc.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2009
Nicht war?
Nein, nicht wahr. Please don't take German lessons from otto1923.
flaredone
3 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
Apophis will veer within an observable distance of Earth twice more before 2029 -- once in 2013 and again in 2021. Based on data collected from those two flybys, Yeomans said scientists should be able to conclude with 99.8 percent accuracy whether a future impact scenario can be ruled out and he believes we should therefore wait before launching a mission that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
Even güte deutsche volke misspell now and again? Vorgib meer Herr Pudel von Besserwisser.
@flameon
We're not ants and are not often limited by natural causes in the social sphere any more.
flaredone
1.7 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2009
We're not ants and are not often limited by natural causes in the social sphere any more.

Yes, we are. At the moment, when interests of individual subjects compensate mutually ("what is good for you isn't good for me"), their logics and intelligence is serving just for another increasing of chaotic character of dense gas - which is how civilization is behaving at large scales. Do you believe, we can control economical crisis, wars or life environment devastation? No way - if we could, we would avoid it already...
CarolinaScotsman
3 / 5 (2) Dec 31, 2009
There are two possibilities. Either one can take the article at face value or not. Either way makes no difference to 99.9% of the world's population. But it will sure keep some paranoid, conspiracy theorist folks occupied for a while.
flaredone
3 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
It's just Russians, who are paranoiac by now, like soldiers in sci-fi movies (including these good ones, like Avatar) - who are firing first, thinking later. I've another explanation for their sudden proposal - Russians are trying to cover bad feeling from recent torpedoing of Copenhagen treaty and hacker attacks of Climate Research Units.

http://www.newsci...l-e.html

The suggestion is, that Russia will welcome the effect of global warming, in fact. Russia is eminently interested in keeping oil prices as high, as possible - it enables them to continue in arming. In addition, by keeping the Arctic Circumpolar Seas ice-free all year round, climate change will unlock Russia's enormous and lucrative reserves of fossil fuel. No wonder, they would boycott AGW international treaties by all means possible.
NeilFarbstein
5 / 5 (4) Dec 31, 2009
The Russians have been remarkably cooperative about global warming and they have not acted like you expect them to. They know the world is interconnected. If the rest of the world undergoes a total economic collapse that makes the great depression look like nothing, their econamy will collapse also, despite a change in the weather.
frajo
2.2 / 5 (5) Dec 31, 2009
Do you believe, we can control economical crisis, wars or life environment devastation? No way - if we could, we would avoid it already...
Well, that's the pessimist's perspective.
OTOH, there's "us" who know we've come a long way and "we"'ll have to go a longer way.
"We" know that after having eveloped language, writing systems, and internet "we"'ll evelop the art of minimizing pain by cooperation on all levels of the local biosphere, step by step.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
their logics and intelligence is serving just for another increasing of chaotic character of dense gas
Yes well, we've learned how to put dense gasses in containers and make them do what we want them to. I misspoke in my post- I meant 'sociopolitical', or the applied form of political sociology. Another term would be 'husbanding'. Competiition and conflict in an overcrowded world are inevitable. But in this world they are not allowed to happen any more without knowing how they will turn out and importantly, without benefit. Planned wars can be immensly beneficial in terms of technology, economics, power, control. It appears to be surprisingly easy. People are willing to forgive and forget more about wars because the memories and images are so hard to consider. Tell them it was honorable and the case will be closed. My point is that with impactors or AGW or the terror war, what we can be more easily explained as preengineered campaigns than as some natural causal phenomena.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
Competiition and conflict in an overcrowded world are inevitable.
What's your definition for "overcrowded world"?
ThinkAgain
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
I'm having trouble believing they are spending all this effort/money on a 1:45,000 chance problem. Maybe it's PR, or maybe I'm just jaded.

I guess if this object could be directed to a specific part of the globe, then it could make some political sense. Just saying.

Well, at least the laws of physics are going to be adhered to.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
And for this all to be possible one would have to assume that all the Players were on the same side and beholden to the same Authority. And it's not god. The announcement of a Russian program therefore would be in accordance with a Plan which would not threaten our overall expansion into space but would be a carefully timed and coordinated part of it. And what we are made aware of would of necessity be political on nature and not anything like what is really going on. Do you think for instance that for something as vital as AGW, that any real decisions as to remedies or realities could possibly be made by a bunch of politicians sitting around a table in front of cameras with the streets outside filled with protesters? That is absurd and yet we are made to believe thatis how things get done. So the Chinese premier feels like snubbing Obama and Ethiopia fries, and the elephants go extinct. The People who rule us will not let that happen by itself and certainly not as a result of politics
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
definition of an overcrowded world
When your little band of ape people show up at the waterhole only to find your enemies are already there as usual. But one of them has the jawbone of an ass in his hand, and he comes over and whacks you on the head with it.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
When your little band of ape people show up at the waterhole only to find your enemies are already there as usual.
A primate's perspective 1 million years ago. That's not overcrowding; it's underdevelopment.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 31, 2009
Go see 2001 a space odyssey maybe you'll get it. It's about the perception of crowding and the cultures which either aid it or exacerbate it. Depends on who your neighbors are and what you have to share with them. Depends on what your parents had as a matter of course and how much less you have to settle for. But fundamentally it depends on whether your children are starving or not. That point can be reached suprisingly quickly. 'A country is only one meal away from a revolution.' für Brot und Freiheit

So come on frajo, we've been here before, state your beliefs, give us something we can pick our teeth with.
NeilFarbstein
not rated yet Jan 01, 2010
i cant believe only one meal away from a revolution. It takes a whole lot of abuse before people get motivated to change their lives and everybody else's.
altino
4 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2010
1 "There won't be any nuclear explosions,"
2 Perminov said. "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics.
3 We will examine all of this."

My way:

1 Why not nuclear? :) Our race loves fireworks.

2 350 meters of Rock.

3 Objective: kill the Rock.

DONE.
Alexander
not rated yet Jan 01, 2010
My way:

1 Why not nuclear? :) Our race loves fireworks.

2 350 meters of Rock.

3 Objective: kill the Rock.

DONE.


Your way too simple also does not demand the big expenses so there will be no also a financing. And all who exaggerates difficulties to accident prevention, do everything that it have paid more.
ThinkAgain
not rated yet Jan 01, 2010
I'm having trouble believing they are spending all this effort/money on a 1:45,000 chance problem. Maybe it's PR, or maybe I'm just jaded.

I guess if this object could be directed to a specific part of the globe, then it could make some political sense. Just saying.

Well, at least the laws of physics are going to be adhered to.
NeilFarbstein
5 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2010
Everything they learn from moving a small asteroid can be applied to bigger asteroids coming near the earth in the future.
thales
5 / 5 (2) Jan 01, 2010
Cost analysis?

1/4,000,000 = probability it will hit and destroy france sized area.

$2.85 Trillion GDP(France) * 200 years(time to repopulate and restore) = 570 Trillion Dollar loss from impact.

570 Trillion/4 million = $142,500.


There would be a number of side effects (nuclear winter, crops lost to dust, water pollution, etc) that significantly increase the cost of an impact. Plus the loss of life.
Michael812
1 / 5 (1) Jan 01, 2010
The existence of, and the danger posed by, Apophis was first published by Billy Meier, verifiably from 13-21 years ago. Please see the information at my site titled APOPHIS: ARE THE RUSSIANS READING MEIER'S WARNINGS?
BetterByDesign
not rated yet Jan 01, 2010
"'There won't be any nuclear explosions,' Perminov said. 'Everything will be done according to the laws of physics. We will examine all of this.'"

Aren't nuclear explosions results from following the laws of physics? It's a contradictory statement. Perhaps he was just was trying to get to point that "brute force" was not going to be used; can this problem be solved gracefully? Why? Perhaps they want to examine it to recover alien DNA (or something to that effect); some meteorites have been found to contain them in the past! It might be a cover story for something bigger.

REFERENCES:
http://www.popsci...teorites
dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Jan 02, 2010
While I certainly hope that Russia doesn't do anything that could screw up Apophis trajectory CAUSING it to strike earth, funding the thought experiment of what to do as if it really was a threat is probably a good idea. I just hope they don't create a global panic a la "Global Warming"
frajo
1 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2010
'There won't be any nuclear explosions,' Perminov said. 'Everything will be done according to the laws of physics. We will examine all of this.'
Aren't nuclear explosions results from following the laws of physics? It's a contradictory statement.
No. They don't say they will be doing everything that is possible according to the laws of physics. They only say that everything they will be doing will be according to the laws of physics. It's a different set of actions.
otto1923
1 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2010
'There won't be any nuclear explosions,' Perminov said.
The Progress of civilization has been accompanied by the ever-increasing production and use of energy per capita. Did you think AGW was going to interrupt this equation? Rest assured we will be using this form of energy in space to manipulate, excavate, mine and process. We will be using robotic nuke-powered boring machines and ore processors. We will be shepherding masses around the system. We will be traveling in ships and habitats driven by nuclear propulsion. Why do you think we went to the elaborate effort to produce 5000+ tons of fissionable material, to end civilization? Its there for us to use, when we need it, whether for emergency or according to Plan; courtesy a faux cold war between 2 contrived adversaries who happened to be working together for the Greater Good.
Parsec
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2010
Cost analysis?

1/4,000,000 = probability it will hit and destroy france sized area.

$2.85 Trillion GDP(France) * 200 years(time to repopulate and restore) = 570 Trillion Dollar loss from impact.

570 Trillion/4 million = $142,500.

So the value of preventing the possibility is $142,500? Anybody else have some number on whether this is worth doing right now? this seems a little low and maybe we should add some secondary benefits such as probability of any asteroid if the program could be repurposed as a general planetary defence system. Also might factor in global effect of impact such as climate change. Maybe theres some secondary benefits in terms of research or knowledge generation we can put a dollar sign on? then again it could land in the water or other unpopulated regions and not matter so much to GDP.


No price on the human/environmental cost? I admit saving a few million or more lives isn't worth much in some quarters, but it still needs to be included.
NeilFarbstein
Jan 03, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
RayCherry
3 / 5 (2) Jan 03, 2010
That about sums up all the posts here. Well done Neil.

1. No "secret meeting". Journalistic archaic sensationalism. A closed door meeting is a simple way of focussing the discussion, and is used in every institution inthe world. If it was secret, then why the public announcement prior to the meeting?

2. Russian project. I'm fairly sure everyone at NASA, especially Don Yeomans, is pleased to see the Russians picking up the ball while American support for space exploration and any expensive research takes a (hopefully) short break.

3. Anyone who has followed the story of this asteroid since the discovery in 2004 knows that it is the first of it's kind (in public knowledge) and a great opportunity to demonstrate a growing fundamental necessity. Humans can control their destiny, and the Russians are inviting all capable agencies and governments to come together for this 'trial'.
dnaDude
5 / 5 (2) Jan 04, 2010
There sure are a lot of people here ready to believe in a conspiracy or that the Russians are stupid.

If you don't assume either of these then what you read is that they're just getting together to discuss possible strategies to deal with the asteroid in case the odds of a collision turn out to be higher in the future. They haven't suggested spending millions of dollars right now but threw out that number as a rough estimate of the cost should something eventually need to be done, which would be an effort and cost born by the countries with the most capability.

The comment about using something that obeys the laws of physics was probably just a poor way of saying they were not going to risk simply nuking the asteroid, but would use a device where the results would more predictably follow the laws of physics, such as a remote-controlled propulsion device, for instance, that could be adjusted as necessary depending on how the asteroid responded.
devanate
1.5 / 5 (4) Jan 04, 2010
Idea: Mine it out of existence before it has a chance to hit.
Phelankell
not rated yet Jan 04, 2010
Idea: Mine it out of existence before it has a chance to hit.

Because we're really in short supply of nickle and carbon. How exactly would you propose funding such an operation?
Positro
not rated yet Jan 04, 2010
flaredone:
-why Russians are ..., why Russians.., why.. why.., etc, etc, etc

Do not panic!
Anyone who has followed the subject would know: over the past few years a number of conferences devoted to Security of Mankind were organized.
Here are some references
http://www.ipa.nw...ree.html
http://spacesystems.ru
http://www.ihst.ru/~akm/34.htm (see section 5)
http://www.ipa.nw...?lang=en
Planetary Defense Workshop, Lawrence Livermore, California, 1995.
http://impact.arc...fm?ID=93
http://impact.arc...m?ID=181
http://www.congre...tion.asp
Al3
5 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2010
I wonder what it would take to make the asteroid go into Earth orbit or to orbit the moon?

Even it it's made of commonly available materials here ON Earth, if it were in a high local orbit, those materials could eventually be used to build objects (spacecraft, stations, etc.) - without having to heavy lift those materials FROM Earth.
otto1923
not rated yet Jan 04, 2010
Lagrange point (in orbit might create dust ring, bigger mess than present)
Burrow into for shielding
Robotic workers, borers, shepherds
PRECISION
-all possible sooner than we could imagine.
Javinator
not rated yet Jan 05, 2010


1/4,000,000 = probability it will hit and destroy france sized area.


It's 4 in a million.

ie. 4/1,000,000 = 1/250,000
Phelankell
1 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2010

It's 4 in a million.

ie. 4/1,000,000 = 1/250,000
Pretty sure the author screwed up. What scientist wouldn't do a reduction to a 1 in a blank chance.
Javinator
not rated yet Feb 05, 2010
4 in a million makes it sound bigger. Look up the odds somewhere else. The numbers are much more like 1/250000 than 1/4000000.

http://www.univer...ngraded/