Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ureka! Easily and safely divert or even vaporize any size giant asteroid?

Eureka! How to easily and safely divert and even vaporize any size giant asteroid?

Gently land a nuclear reactor core on the side of the asteroid you want it to move away from. Withdraw control rods and allow the reactor to melt down. As the core evaporates everything below the shaft it is boring the gaseous rock will shoot out the top: moving the asteroid in the opposite direction with equal force.

An asteroid of the size that supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs has a gravity is about 1/600 of earth's. (Such an asteroid would be about the size of Mt. Everest. The pull is seemingly out of proportion to the mass of the earth because the surface is so much closer to the center -- the gravity does not have a chance to "spread out.")

When the core reaches gravitational center it will continue to evaporate rock all around it which could conceivably keep sinking into the superheated core instead of the other way around. If the size of the reactor core relative to the size of the asteroid were sufficient it might be possible for one or many superheated cores to evaporate an entire asteroid if the core or cores don't run out of fuel before the asteroid runs out of rock -- sort of like a reverse black hole.


Rdan said...

Wow....don't blow it up! How did you come to think this way?

Denis Drew said...

I was reading an article about killer asteroids in Wired magazine on line and imagining evaporating a crater on one side with a thermonuke (images left over from the late fifties and early sixties when they used to blow thermonukes on the Today Show before I went to school) to cause thrust -- and the meltdown effect was so parallel it just suggested itself.

Probably if the real thing were coming somebody (anybody?) tending a real reactor (maybe the security guard) would think of it -- but as you suggested in a post last week *: legally, if I thought of it first it belongs to me. My only concern now is how I can benefit financially. :-)

I am willing to license. If I get real lucky and a real killer asteroid imminently endangers everybody's lives on earth I might settle for an relatively empty state like Nebraska. If I get that lucky I might even get the Nobel "still-in-one-piece" prize -- that's worth a million. Its only about economics to me.

* http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2009/11/rule-of-capture-and-legalized-theft.html

Denis Drew said...

Further thoughts on killer asteroid diversion:

An uncontrolled jet of rock plasma bursting from a core-meltdown sinkhole -- depending on the size of the asteroid -- could induce a spin which could ultimately neutralize its deflection effect as it began to thrust equally 360.

This would HAVE TO be controlled by conventional (or nuclear; see below) rockets. It takes less power to steer a 747 than it does to lift it. "HAVE TO" because if the spinning became fast enough the resulting centrifugal force could overcome the weak gravity and toss the reactor core back into space.
About 25 years ago I read in Analog science fiction magazine that it might take about 35 years to develop a nuclear powered space rocket -- which is the only practical way human can travel -- pointlessly: pure limbic system attraction? -- to the planets -- enough power to carry along all the amenities you need. The nuclear reactor would superheat indigenous gases found anywhere (e.g., CO2 on Mars) for thrust.

The reactor could either vaporize the material directly or create enough electricity to vaporize the gasses. The same process could conceivably work on rock to provide gaseous fuel for asteroid-control rockets. We might need nuclear power just to reach a really giant ("Armageddon" style) asteroid in the nick of time.

We have already wasted $100 billion on a space station whose chief research results have been how much fighting breaks out between astronauts -- and untold billions on routine shuttle shots with 25 year old equipment (from back when the shuttle may have had less computer power than today's automobile).

We really need to work on the nuclear powered space engine. Had we developed it already we may never have needed to worry about killer asteroids in the first place.