Friday, January 1, 2010

Russia to attack Apophis?

http://www.space.com/news/091230-russia-asteroid-apophis.html

Man, this is a time when I wish you could update a book you've written to cover new events. In my book, Turning Point, I talk about Apophis and its 1-in-45,000 chance of hitting the Earth. Of course, soon after I finalize and publish the book, new data comes out making it a 1-in-250,000 chance.

Such is the nature of science and proper data collecting. I'm okay with that. My point is still valid in that we need to make sure we seriously study and come up with legitimate solutions to save our bacon if we spot an asteroid heading for us, when the odds are 1-in-1.

With this in mind, I like what Russia is doing by planning a mission to nudge the orbit of Apophis, or at least test options, despite its ever growing odds of hitting us. Could they make the situation worse if they nudge it the wrong way, sure, but I doubt very seriously they'd be going into this half-cocked and without having all their ducks in a row. Additionally, they've already mentioned that they will invite the United States and other nations to join in the mission. Good. This only helps ensure proper mission planning.

However, leave it the the USA to be slightly arrogant about the idea and thump their chest about the risk of visiting Apophis. That's slightly depressing. I see it this way, if nothing else, we can get some seriously good data from a direct visit and test. Again, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that everything will be planned properly.

And as the Russian Official said at the end of the article...

"People's lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and design a system that would prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people," Perminov said, according to RIA Novosti.

3 comments:

Rebekah Lou Taylor said...

Very interesting. I myself have asked why we don't have a system in place.

Douglas Mallette said...

Rebekah - Money money money. Our sad state of current affairs in the world boils down to one simple truth, right now money is more important than humanity, saving lives and advancing the human species.

Now this doesn't mean we can't try to change that, but that is the truth. We have all the resources and technology at our fingertips, but can't do a damn thing all because of some printed paper that has no true backing to begin with. Sickening.

Norman Copeland said...

Ok, beginning with money...

Who believes that money is a restricter? It is for people who have not educated themselves how to culture it, I think it is a smoke screen to happyness and truthfully If we want something we a a political system that could deal with the situation, I beleive the president's and prime ministers are just as keen to survive as we are and would certainly want to have the reasurance there families and friends are safe, wouldn't they?

George Orwell's book 1984 would be an extremely sensible choice for a competant revision specialist author...