Fight Asteroid With Asteroid

In the movie Armageddon, Bruce Willis saves the world by planting a nuke on an Earthbound asteroid. Such a strategy is unlikely to work, however, because asteroids are aggregates of rubble whose bits would absorb the blast, a report concluded a few years ago. Hmm. How about this idea: Don’t wait until it’s almost too late. Consider a Flash Gordon pie-in-the-sky possibility. Capture our own asteroid by attaching rockets and steering it into an Earth-trailing orbit. Any doomsday rocks comes hurtling toward an unwelcome visit, we steer our chunky monkey onto a collision course. Did run this idea past scientists, though, for a Philadelphia Inquirer article. They said there are likely to be better ways. The trick is to find an asteroid far enough in advance so the slightest nudge would change its course. Paint it black, to create a steady push with heat stoked by the sun. Use a super-doggie digger (not how they put it) that steadily ejects debris into space, slowly causing a course correction. But, hey, I’ll leave the idea out there, in case it generates something better … or just fun discussion … or even a script for Armageddon 2.

Leave a Reply