Skip to comments.NASA to send celestial hammer to break open comet
Posted on 12/23/2004 9:20:12 AM PST by Diamond
click here to read article
> How fast will that measly 800 pound kinetic impactor be travelling when it hits the comet?
Relative to what?
> I would be very surprised to learn that they have calculated the trajectories of the pieces that break off.
I wouldn't. The 800 pound hammer with transfer it's kinetic energy to the comet; much of that energy will be converted to heat. As for the rest, it might blow a few fridge-sized chunks off at a few hundred feet per second.
If comets do turn out to be space ships of highly advanced beings then we're in deep shiite.
"The debris that will be kicked up will reveal, for the very first time, just what a comet is made of."
Rocks and dust, now give me the $330 million they were going to spend.
If they are interested in finding water ice, there's plenty of places in South Philly where it can be found.....and it won't cost $330 million.
"If comets do turn out to be space ships of highly advanced beings then we're in deep shiite."
I was thinking the same exact thing.....Our NASA hammer goes off and then the next thing you know a pulsing death beam expands the Gulf coast clean up to Dallas. That would suck.
Maybe I was tipped off by your screen name but do you ever think you spend a little too much time here?
I'm not sure what the 22,000 MPH reference is to, but it could be referring to the closing speed just before the impact. The last sentence of the article says,
The collision between the projectile and the comet, at a speed of 22,000 mph, will take place 83 million miles away from Earth.Man, 800 LBS at 32,000 feet per second .. that is one whopper of a projectile!
There are more mundane possibilities. The interior might be a huge hollow nichol ball. Hitting it at high speed with an 800 lb hammer will produce sonic reverberations that will permanently deafen every creature on the planet with ears.
Even that scenario might include aliens though. To them it might be a dinner bell.
Makes me yack.
"I would be very surprised to learn that they have calculated the trajectories of the pieces that break off."
In all honesty, and maybe I'm naive, but i'd be amazed if they didn't try to calculate the effect of their "celestial hammer". Did you mean that such a calculation is beyond mans ability?
Point this thing @ Mosul !
Article says it'll hit at 22,000 mph. If you consider that a very small paint chip once put a noticeable ding in a Space Shuttle window, I'd say this little guy is gonna blow the comet to smithereens.
Hell, that's only about the weight of a big block car engine, and much less mass than say, an air liner crash, I don't think it will be very significant.
So when does Greenpeace plan to launch a "save the comet" campaign?
I really liked that movie! ;-D
Guys with cool jobs...
In The Douglas Adams Universe, one of the pieces is placed on a new trajectory after the cleaving and heads straight for Earth, impacting it and snuffing out all life on the planet.
If the Dolphins hadn't already left, I'm sure their last message would be "So long and thanks for all the fish."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.