Asteroid Affirmative

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Detection Key To Deflection

Dual use capabilities of Deflection/Detection tech and the scientific advancements necessary for development have multiple benefits

Urias Et. Al 96 (John M. Urias is the Vice President of Programs at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, retired colonel in the US Air Force. Ms. Iole M. DeAngelis, Maj Donald A. Aher,n Maj Jack S. Caszatt, Maj George W. Fenimore III, Mr. Michael J. Wadzinski. “Planetary Defense: Catastrophic Health Insurance for Planet Earth”. October 1996. Pg 59-60. TDA)

A PDS system has many potential dual-use capabilities, with or without modification, such as earth and space surveillance, space debris detection and mitigation, ballistic missile defense, and as a space-based offensive weapons system. The overall system is, however, only one of many benefits of a decision to embark on a PDS research, development, and deployment effort. The technologies required for the PDS would be, in of themselves, major benefits of such a program. Indeed, revolutionary deep-space detection methods, quantum communications, ultra-fast computer processing, large data-storage capabilities, high specific impulse propulsion, high kinetic energy systems, high power-directed energy systems, mass driver/reaction engines, solar sail and collector systems, chemical, biological, and mechanical “eaters,” magnetic and force field generation, tractor beams and gravity manipulators, and the ability to manhandle large objects in space and move them into more desirable orbits present significant technical challenges. Once developed, however, these new technologies will, in effect, change our lives, as military and commercial spin-offs and dual-use capabilities from these new technologies will dramatically stimulate the global economy. As deep-space detection allows us to reflect, we may find answers to energy shortages and sources of dwindling critical resources. It is conceivable that not only would the PDS serve as a defensive system for EMS protection, it also could be used to maneuver selected asteroids into stable earth orbits for various operations. A particularly interesting benefit involves mining asteroids for their rich deposits of metals and other valuable minerals. A thought brings into focus a space mining company making frequent trips into space to mine the asteroid that presented the original global threat. Further, controlled asteroids could be used as space bases or platforms 60 for space stations or space colonies. Indeed, such possibilities would enhance the attractiveness of the PDS effort due to their economic potential.
Asteroid detection is key to our survival – We could prepare for an impact

Nelson 2010 (University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D,

Impacts are the only natural hazard that we can prevent from happening by either deflecting the incoming object or destroying it.  Of course, we must first know about such objects and their paths in order to give us sufficient warning to prepare a defense.  Sufficient time is usually thought to be about 10 years.  This would likely give us enough time to prepare a space mission to intercept the object and deflect its path by setting off a nuclear explosion.  Currently, however, there are no detailed plans.  But, even if we did not have the ability to destroy or deflect such an object, 10 years warning would provide sufficient time to store food and supplies, and maybe even evacuate the area immediately surrounding the expected impact site.

Detection Key To Deflection

Even small asteroids can wipe out large metropolises, but detecting asteroids early can help deflect the asteroids that could kill thousands.

Lenard and Hotes, 00 [AIP Conference Proceedings, “Technology needs for asteroid and comet trajectory deflection of a Tunguska-sized object using fission propulsion” pg1, mjf]

Recent motion pictures (ZanucMBrown, 1998) and other publications have identified the potential for civilization ending events based on impacts by large asteroids. The Near-Earth Asteroid Interception Workshop identified the size threshold for such events as l-2 km diameter objects impacting the Earth. While the report appeared to downplay the effect of smaller objects, -100 meters in diameter, the damage associated with these objects can be devastating to a major metropolitan area. The 1908 Tunguska asteroid was estimated to be -70 meters in diameter and leveled an area about 25 km in radius (Hill and Goda, 1992). Impact frequency appears to be inversely related to asteroid impact energy, i.e., inversely with the cube of their diameter out to a diameter of a few kilometers (Canavan and Solem, 1992), assuming the velocity is roughly constant. A review of some data, therefore indicates that while collision by an object of lo-20 km size, (thought to be the size responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs), is rare, collisions of an object capable of destroying a major metropolitan area, for example, Los Angeles - is much more frequent, perhaps occurring as often as twice per century (Morrison, 1992). Figure 1 shows the approximate impact frequency as a function of impact or size. Figures 2 and 3 show the effect of impact or size, and damage radius as a function of asteroid type and impact velocity. Clearly, based on the potential for severe damage, it is important to mitigate the effects of a Tunguska-sized object when ever feasible. While the initial asteroid detection studies indicated low probability for damage of a city, we believe this is due to an improper scaling of future population trends, consequently, the analysis erred on the low side of the damage distribution. We here discuss the technology requirements to move a Tunguska-size object employing known detection and propulsion technologies. The most important feature of any asteroid or comet deflection scheme is early detection and reliable orbit analysis.

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