>Russian scientists want to modify existing intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver a nuclear warhead that will supposedly obliterate near-earth asteroids that measure up to 50 meters across. They want to test this capability against Apophis, a well known near-earth asteroid that will pass close to Earth in 2036.
>Sabit Saitgarayev of the Kakeyev Rocket Design Bureau’s is the leading researcher on this, and recently told TASS News why an ICBM is their asteroid plinking platform of choice:
>“Most rockets work on boiling fuel. Their fueling begins 10 days before the launch and, therefore, they are unfit for destroying meteorites similar to the Chelyabinsk meteorite in diameter, which are detected several hours before coming close to the Earth. For this purpose, intercontinental ballistic missiles can be used, which requires their upgrade,” the scientist said.
>The improved missiles could be used as the killers of the Apophis asteroid, “which will come dangerously close to the Earth in 2036,” he added.
/o/ here. Is this feasible or just more crazy Russian bolstering?
>send nuke to giant asteroid
>calculate the time you should detonate the nuke in relation to what side of the earth the asteroid is facing
>asteroid breaks into a billion pieces
>destroy your enemy with a "natural" phenomena
Pretty sure one issue with this strategy would be the asteroid fragmenting and those fragments end up bombarding earth and causing substantial damage. But I guess a lot of small asteroids would be better than one massive one
It's not meant to blow up the asteroid, just push it. If you set of a nuclear explosion on the surface of an asteroid, or slightly above it you'll create a massive plume of dust and evaporate going one way, and the asteroid is pushed slightly in the other direction. if you do this early enough, this will change the asteroids orbit enough for it to miss the earth. In terms of change in momentum, nuclear bombs are orders of magnitude more effective than any other method of asteroid redirection.
>a lot of small asteroids would be better than one massive one
Not really true btw. A large astroid has enough energy to significantly heat up the earth atmosphere. It's better to deposit all that enery in one place and punch a massive hole in the earths crust than to create a meteor shower that heats the atmosphere to 80C over a few hours and sterilize the earths surface.
Whether or not a meteor shower or a single big hit would be better would depend pretty exclusively on the composition of the asteroid in question. If it's mostly metallic, we are fucked. Breaking it up is only going to increase the damage, as all fragments will make it to the ground.
If, on the other hand, it's a lot of water or particulate matter, fragmenting the asteroid with a nuke should increase the surface area, making it possible for each fragment to burn up more in the atmosphere.
I don't know about which would heat up the atmosphere more or less, but that's not really so bad as far as survival goes - people underground or underwater should do fine, and enough of the biosphere would survive a brief (a day or two at most?) 80C stint that we would be able to farm and shit once we got out.
20 thousand tons of asteroid (something a little over 20 meters across) entering our atmosphere at 10km/s and burning up completely would impart enough energy to heat the all the air around our planet by roughly five thousandths of a degree.
An asteroid will deliver approximately the same energy be it all at once or in pieces. An asteroid large enough to wipe out humanity would still wipe out humanity if it came down in a shower rather than all at once.
Nukes do not provide a solution to the problem. They just change the problem into a slightly different problem
>/o/ here. Is this feasible or just more crazy Russian bolstering?
The sanity of the plan is of no consequence - if they can do it, they will. That is the Russian approach to engineering.
A large impactor will throw up molten rock into the atmosphere anyway, causing similar heating anyway. It's proposed one of the extinction events played out that way, with the air temperature being ~200C after molten rock was spread over half the earth.
It's better to fragment it with nukes before, at least some of those fragments will miss the earth and you don't get direct kinetic and secondary shockwave damage. The air temperature going up to 80-100C will be less of a problem. People in population centers can take shelter in underground facilities for the duration of the thermal spike. Vegetation will regrow and so on. A human being will survive 100C ambient temperatures for a while even in the open as long as humidity allows for sweat evaporation. Near bodies of water it will be hell to stay for a while, but evaporative cooling will still prevent temperatures from climbing over 100C which will inhibit thermal conduction of heat to shelters, and that will also prevent massive fires.
If you are hit by a shockwave or rock bombardment you'll simply due to blunt trauma, no questions asked.
>live in a city with an enormous cold war nuclear shelter.
>would pick up five days worth of beer and watch the meteor shower while having a bbq party outside the shelter.
If they're looking for a Bikini Atoll to test their nukes "safely" why pick a near Earth asteroid? Haven't they ever heard the expression don't' shit where you eat? Pick a target that FAR from Earth that won't rain shrapnel down like a carpet bomb. How much harder would it be to plink an asteroid on the other side of the sun for christ sake.
This violate the Outer Space Treaty and the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Russia knows this. They're just trying to see how much the world will let them get away with.
Is the intention to blow up the asteroid or to redirect it? Blowing it up doesn't seem safe unless you know the composition. You could be blowing up an asteroid made of dust, or a giant ball of nickle.
If the goal is to redirect it, wouldn't lasers be better? You hit it with a high power laser beam, the heat causes matter to become heated and ejected outward pushing the asteroid like a jet. Laser powered jet propulsion. If this could work we could use solar powered lasers to steer asteroids into an earth orbit for space mining.
literally just more childish Russian nuclear posturing.
Apophis isn't even a threat anymore, it's been sitting at hazard level 0 since 2006. In 2013 it passed by Earth close enough for us to evaluate its trajectory until 2070.
Propaganda like this only works in a country like Russia, where the majority of citizens only have access to state controlled media.
It's only unreliable and ineffective if you're retarded and aim for destruction of the asteroid rather than using stand off detonations to deflect it. It's the a similar principle to the Orion Drive. Bomb goes off a short distance away, the x-rays vaporizes some of the rock, rock flies into space and produces thrust altering the asteroid's orbit. Repeat as necessary.
They just want to be allowed to set the precedent that would give them internationally sanctioned use of nuclear warheads in space, which would negate some nuclear arms treaties.
So what >>7857719 said.
The idea of running a trial of deflecting an asteroid with a nuclear blast is an excellent idea. It's much better to attempt it now on a harmless rock and iron out any potential issues than to try and do the same thing with one that's just been detected to hit in two weeks.
But it should be an international effort. Any one nation or group trying to do it will just seem like a bout of dick waving.
It would be much harder and much more expensive. I dont think you realize just how large our solar system is and how much it would cost to send something to the opposite side of the sun.
The reason an asteroid would kill us all in the first place is if it impacted a single area and did not incinerate in the atmosphere. If the asteroid were broken up into a couple hundred pieces then it would have much more surface area being burned up in the atmosphere.