Catching an Asteroid

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Squilly, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Squilly macrumors 68020

    Squilly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    Latest news I hear on the radio is NASA's attempt to capture an asteroid. Source
    Why not just use a fallen meteorite that's big enough to study in conditions similar to space (I'm sure that's possible)?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    I guess the goal is to test the mechanisms to successfully catch such a big object (500 tonnes are not that easily to catch even on Earth, though lack of gravity is probably an advantage out there), keep it in an orbit (artificially) and then to successfully land on it.

    Raw materials are getting rarer and rarer on this rock, thus exploring and exploiting other rocks for such materials will be a big incentive too.

    Those things cannot be done on Earth, only simulated, which they already do of course with all their supercomputers.

    While it is an expensive adventure, it has to be done someday, and that day is nearing fast.
     
  3. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #3
    OMG...Nasa never thought of that. They're so hot to shoot rockets into space it never dawned on them that they could just do the whole thing right here.

    What a bunch of dummies!!

    But seriously, folks...do you think it's just possible there might be a reason why the asteroid (not meteorite) might be better studied in space. Just one idea...it has not passed through our atmosphere yet and undergone the incredible heating that involves.
     
  4. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    :confused:
    "Matter is never created not destroyed"

    ----------

    Which could still be simulated on Earth...
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #5
    Yes, I know, but as you can see from all the waste depositories we have, we have not successfully learnt to transform that transformed matter into reusable matter again.

    So can car and plane crashes, and still those poor beings get crushed before being released to the wider public.

    Almost everything can be simulated, look at masturbation, but one still wants the real deal, look at sex between two or more parties.
     
  6. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #6
    The "Matter is..." quote contributes to the discussion how??:confused:


    As you keep asserting. I'm taking a wild stab in the dark, but could it possibly be that the conditions for the study intended by NASA require conditions that can not be simulated on Earth.

    Wait, how stupid of me. You MUST be right, and those Nasa dopeys must be wrong. If I were you, and considering your posts concerning your interest in developing a career path for yourself, you should re-consider the idea of being a tycoon, and consider being an advisor to NASA. Considering you obviously have a much better grasp on this project, it would be unpatriotic of you to keep it to yourself and not inform NASA of the error of their ways.
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #7
    The point is to be able to capture items in space, which involves incredibly complex planning and calculation. It's like a moonshot+.

    This is for advancing science, not simulating that advancement.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #8
    Asteroid mining is a way off yet. We will be basically constrained to whatever comes within our limited grasp and so have no control of what could be mined. Costs to capture, mine and bring the materials to Earth are currently prohibitive even for the rarest of materials. I can see it being useful for planetary defence although they claim that is not the primary mission. I guess we have to learn these skills at some point.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    #9
    They kind of give you a clue as to the point of this mission in the article itself.

    It'd be difficult to simulate that on Earth.
     
  10. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
  11. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #11
    Yeah but just once.
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #12
    Because the asteroid changes as it screams through the atmosphere at 17 times the speed of sound, vapourizing everything on the surface of the meteorite and even the rock itself before smashing into the ground with enough force to plough a hole in the ground metres deep.
    Well, technically a lot of matter is changed into energy - so while perhaps not destroyed it is no longer useful as matter, or energy. And.. for matter that is still 'matter-like' ... if we want more, say... Iron... I don't know that the skyscrapers of NYC or the rail lines or the shipping lines are going to be so keen on giving up the iron. So, what we are looking for are new sources.
    At some point, perhaps. But if we don't know what an asteroid is made up of before that screaming descent through the earth's atmosphere... then how would we know what to simulate? That's the same as me asking you to draw the floor plans for my house. You've never seen it, so even if you were the smartest draftsperson in your class you are starting from a bit of a handicap, eh?
     

Share This Page