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China Space Science

Chinese Want To Capture an Asteroid 481

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-go-wrong? dept.
geekmansworld writes "The Chinese want to capture an asteroid into earth's orbit and mine it. From the article: 'At first glance, nudging an asteroid closer to Earth seems like one of those "what could possible go wrong" scenarios that we generally try and avoid, and for good reason: large asteroid impacts are bad times. The Chinese, though, seem fairly optimistic that they could tweak the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid by just enough (a change in velocity of only about 1,300 feet-per-second or so) to get it to temporarily enter Earth orbit at about twice the distance as the Moon.'"
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Chinese Want To Capture an Asteroid

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  • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @01:31PM (#37266490) Homepage Journal

    Since such a thing would be put the entire planet at risk, the world governments should tell China that they MUST share the resources for free if we all share the risk. Even in doing so, I think its not a good idea. Far too risky to be talking about it with our current under-developed space program. If we had the capability to launch vehicles on a day's notice and tow large objects around with ease, then that would be different. Better to either mine it where it is, or make it orbit Mars or something. 24 trillion per asteroid? I would think that would quite easily pay for a nice setup on Mars. They have to go to space anyways.

    Of course at the same time, there is risk in them altering any asteroid trajectory at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @01:39PM (#37266622)

    And that will sell more ads how?

  • by dschl (57168) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @01:53PM (#37266844) Homepage

    I guess slashdot is running out of nerds who post anymore. I don't post much or read many comments here anymore, but when I saw the direction this was heading, I had to log in for the first time in ages.

    The first few comments I saw were like the parent comment above - a bunch of bleating from a group of pussies who are still cowering after Sept 11, 2001, waiting for the gubermint to protect them from any and all potential harm or risk.

    I grew up on sci-fi, reading about the possibilities - things humanity can do if it sets out to accomplish something grand. Bike helmets didn't exist, I ate dirt, skinned my knees climbing trees, and broke bones on (unsafe by today's standards) playground equipment. I dreamed of the stars, and of people inhabiting the entire solar system one day.

    Which is worse - mining the asteroid belt or open pit mines in sensitive areas? I fully recognize that sci-fi has as much fantasy as science, but I recall novels from the 1980s that included LEO refining of asteroids, followed by dropping the materials down to earth by shaping them into gliders or capsules similar to those used in the Mercury program. There should be enough silica waste to make some heat-resistant tiles up there, and the metal can be foamed or made hollow to drop the density.

    If the first few comments are representative of today's /. audience, no wonder CmdrTaco bailed.

  • by stranger_to_himself (1132241) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:19PM (#37267226) Journal

    How does doing or not doing any of those things have any effect on whether or not they can capture an asteroid?

    Suso would like China to get their shit together regarding some of these more common failings before trying to snatch an asteroid out of the sky with their as-of-yet undeveloped space chopsticks.

    This isn't 'The Chinese' (as in the Government) its some Chinese guys at a university in Beijing with a crazy idea they posted on Arxiv. Arxiv is not the place that the Chinese government will be posting their world domination plans.

  • by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @02:43PM (#37267600)

    Uuuh yeah and do you remember that those were works of fiction you were reading? Calling the grandparent a pussy isn't much of a substitute for a convincing explanation of why the GP's comments might be "wrong".

    And the moderators who marked the GP as flamebait while the parent, which is a direct ad hominem attack, is modded "insightful"... wtf??? Is everyone on drugs today??? God forbid there might be some rational discussion of the risks involved. Sheeesh.

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