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NASA emails reveal a very near-miss from a “city-killer” asteroid

NASA emails reveal a very near-miss from a “city-killer” asteroid

This is the “Extinction Level Event” that climate change prodigy Greta Thunberg should really worry about

Climate change prodigy Greta Thunberg spent the better portion of a week recounting her fears of mass extinction to the U.S. Congress and the United Nations.

However, emails from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reveal that we very nearly had a significant and catastrophic climate change event for which humankind could hardly be blamed.

Internal emails from NASA show that the space agency was unaware of asteroid 2019 OK, described as a “city killer,” until the last moment on July 24.

The giant, football field-sized space rock was not detected by researchers until 24 hours before it was set to whiz past Earth at a distance of just 48,000 miles, traveling at 55,000 miles per hour.

“Because there may be media coverage tomorrow, I’m alerting you that in about 30 mins a 57-130 meter sized asteroid will pass Earth at only 0.19 lunar distances (~48,000 miles),” Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer, wrote in a July 24 email, adding the asteroid “was spotted about 24 hrs ago.”

Paul Chodas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory indicated that the asteroid managed to slip through NASA’s tracking systems.

“This object slipped through a whole series of our capture nets,” he stated in an email to his colleagues. “I wonder how many times this situation has happened without the asteroid being discovered at all.”

NASA’s failure to spot 2019 OK sooner is certainly alarming especially since the agency has constantly stressed the importance of early detection in preventing an asteroid impact from happening. Hopefully, the space agency will implement better systems that are capable of tracking all asteroids that might approach Earth.

How many billions of dollars have been squandered by climate change activists and politicians, diverted to useless global warming projects and to ineffective energy technologies?

All of those resources, including the scientific research and experimentation, that have been used on “climate change” could be going to projects that could help us detect asteroids that really present a threat to this planet.

With this in mind, perhaps it now makes sense that NASA Administrators have just announced that the agency is planning to launch a space telescope to watch for hazardous asteroids as part of its planetary defense strategy.

The telescope will use infrared radiation to detect the heat of rocks hurtling through space. For now, NASA administrators are calling it the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM).

“This is a great step forward for thinking about human destiny, because the dinosaurs certainly did not have an asteroid survey program to protect themselves,” Richard Binzel, an asteroid researcher and professor of planetary sciences at MIT, told Business Insider. “Having knowledge of what’s out there is something that the planetary science community has been advocating for for nearly 30 years. So this is a breakthrough decades in the making.”

NASA’s new mission is expected to cost between $500 million and $600 million. It could launch as early as 2025, though that’s not an official timeline.

NASA has been steadily increasing its work in the area of planetary defense. Interestingly, an experiment for an asteroid killer is planned for 2021.

…This program received $60 million in funding for fiscal year 2017, $76 million for 2018 and it expects to receive $150 million in 2020. Figures for 2019 were not available because budgets had not been passed, according to NASA’s budget report.

The agency’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, mission, which aims to “change the motion of an asteroid in space,” receives the bulk of planetary defense funding. DART functions by crashing into potentially dangerous asteroids at a speed of approximately 6.6 kilometers per second, or 14,764 mph, with the aim of changing the speed of the incoming asteroid.

A DART demonstration will occur in 2021 and will impact an asteroid of comparable size to that which passed the Earth in July — roughly 160 meters across. This is, according to NASA, “more typical of the size of the asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to the Earth.”

Personally, I would love to see this effort paired with the development of even more asteroid killing technologies from the U.S. Space Force.

While Greta jets around the world scolding Western civilization for its climate sins, American scientists and servicemen and women are working to protect us all from a real Extinction Level Event.


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The probability falls like the square of the miss distance on grometric grounds, and faster than that on gravitational grounds. Near misses get a lot rarer the nearer the miss.

All that’s changed is technology supporting anxiety, the great attractor of funding.

    MajorWood in reply to rhhardin. | September 30, 2019 at 10:20 am

    If the Earth had been either 5 minutes earlier or 5 minutes later, can’t remember, in the orbit in 2013 for the Chelyabinsk event, wherein it would have made a direct impact rather than the glancing blow, it could have been a very different story. A JPL buddy who was the tech advisor for “Deep Impact” told me that a direct hit on PDX would have pretty much killed everyone from Gresham to Hillsborough, with a 5 second warning for anyone who happened to be looking up. So I tend to not have them on my worry list. We have as good of a shot at disrupting Cascadia, but at least one can prep for a scenario where they aren’t getting instantly vaporized, just sayin. A large chunk of the West Coast will drop 4 ft in a couple of seconds, so once the multistory wave recedes, we can get an idea of the effects of rising seas.

    As George might put it, a Tsunami is just the planet power-washing the sidewalk.

    This is what it takes to even slightly annoy a minor lava event. Yeah, we humans are in charge of the planet, which is what a typical libtard thinks.

Ostrich Effect. The human species is designed to ignore any potential threat which they can not deal with. It is our nature to ignore it. Disregarding the argument over whether man-made global warming actually exists and the obvious profit motive involved in its existence, man-made global warming can be addressed with current technology. multi-million ton space rocks traveling at tens to hundreds of miles per hour is not addressable using existing human technology. So, people simply ignore it.

AS too the potential of DART, there are two big problems with it. The first is the angle at which contact will have to be made in order to have the velocity vector of the projectile alter the vector of the incoming body to cause it to miss the Earth. Anyone who has ever played pool or billiards knows the problems which exist there. And, that is using smooth, nearly spherical balls. What happens with an irregularly shaped object with a variegated surface and composition? Then there are the obvious problem with a direct frontal hit. Given the variable composition of the celestial object, a head-on collision could result in fracturing the object without changing its vector. With a small object this could result in objects small enough to burn up in the atmosphere. With significantly larger sized objects, fracturing can mitigate the threat, but it will not eliminate it. Well, we have to start somewhere, to mitigate potential threats, so I’m all for spending the money.

    If there are two moving objects on a collision course (earth/asteroid) it it not necessarily required to change the vector of one; as mentioned in the article, changing the speed might be more than sufficient to eliminate the chance that paths would intersect.

      Mac45 in reply to ttl. | September 30, 2019 at 1:54 am

      Vector combines both the velocity and the direction of travel. The best way to avoid a collision is to change the direction of travel. This would ensure that the object would miss its target. Changing the velocity component may cause an object to miss another moving object as well. However, if the object fractures, you can end up with portions traveling on slightly different trajectories, at different speeds, which will still ensure some kind of impact on the target. This is the theory behind shot charges. And, unless the structure of the object, whose vector is being changed through a collision is known, fracturing can occur.

      ttl in reply to ttl. | September 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

      I don’t take issue with anything you’ve said other than your statement that not having the right angle to engage is a major problem. A simple change in speed is likely sufficient, although it’s probably not possible to accomplish that in most cases without inducing some level of direction change as well. In any case, we’re both talking generalities and actual geometries and energies are obviously pertinent–I’ll confess I don’t know if we’re talking about crossing targets, head on targets, or what degree of in-between.

      FWIW, although not optimum, breaking up an incoming projectile is almost certainly a reduction of the threat to some extent, if not an elimination.

      I acknowledge your support for the expenditure, and on that we also agree.

        Mac45 in reply to ttl. | September 30, 2019 at 4:31 pm

        First of all, the optimum result would be to change the direction of travel of the object closing on the Earth, to force it to miss making contact. To do that, you have to apply sufficient force upon a vector which will induce a corresponding change in vector to eliminate the interception of Earth by the in-coming object. Usually, this will require that the projectile, which will apply this direction changing force, will not travel directly from Earth, but from a point away from the planet.

        What NASA is proposing is to launch a projectile from Earth directly at the incoming object so as to slow it down sufficiently to miss intercepting the planet. However, the most likely outcome of that is that object will fracture into several parts and continue along a similar, though spreading, trajectory. If this happens, the chances of a planetary strike are still quite good. Though the damage would be reduced, it all depends upon the size and velocity of the projectile at time of impact. In practical terms half a million tons traveling at 50,000 mph is probably going to be just as detrimental to human civilization as one million tons traveling at 60,000 mph.

So NASA is planning on doing something useful? Well, okay, but I don’t quite see what this has to do with Muslim outreach.

If DART can’t completely redirect, maybe we can at least nudge it so hits Sweden first?

PS— For all the wokescolds – Just kidding, just kidding.

PPS- If a DART doesn’t work, is it a Failed Asteroid Redirection Test? Asking for a friend.

I’m waiting for the ancient astronaut theorists to weigh in on this before making my final assessment. No point wasting billions of taxpayer dollars if it’s just ETs playing with our heads.

Put it this way – the odds of a big hit between now and whenever it’s cheaper to deal with it technologywise is very tiny.

Let future generations worry about it once they’re advanced enough.

Asteroids are attacking Earth because of Climate Change. Somebody do something, now!!

What exactly qualifies one to be a “climate change prodigy”?

I see knowing that some sizeable asteroid will definitely, no question about it, hit the earth is akin to knowing the date of one’s death.

Not a thing can be done to prevent either. So knowing when only adds to anxiety.

Headline: “Asteroid almost hits Earth. Democrats blame Trump.”

There ain’t a damn thing we could do about it.

I’d just accept the judgement of the Lord, and to hell with the details.

What difference would it have made if NASA had spotted it? There is nothing they could have done except panic people all over the Earth.

The recently ended TV show “Travelers” deals with an asteroid. I won’t reveal anymore, but as a sci-fi program it was pretty good, and done by the Stargate franchise. That and read “Lucifer’s Hammer.” If you don’t already, you will own a pump shotgun by chapter three. 😉

That, and Dodo Dynasties.

DART functions by crashing into potentially dangerous asteroids at a speed of approximately 6.6 kilometers per second

Hahaha, crash into it with what?

An asteroid the size of the one they didn’t spot is going to weigh something on the order of a million tons. Minimum.

It really doesn’t matter how fast DART is going. Unless it has some significant mass, its kinetic energy and momentum will both be negligible compared to the target.

Just as a point of reference, the International Space Station packs about 500 tons. Compared to a million tons, that’s basically negligible.

    rhhardin in reply to tom_swift. | September 30, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Momentum is all that matters. The momentum before equals the momentum afterwards, except afterwards the projectile is presumably glued onto the object.

      tom_swift in reply to rhhardin. | September 30, 2019 at 7:52 am

      Yes, momentum is conserved, but you still need enough of it to do something useful.

      If you’re trying to break your target up, energy is a factor.

        healthguyfsu in reply to tom_swift. | September 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm

        I believe you’re mostly right here, but I’m not an astrophysicist by any means. p=mv does say that you can make up for reduced mass with high velocity, though, at least by earth rules. This is why a bullet that weighs under 100 grams can knock you off your feet (in addition to the internal damage). I certainly wouldn’t say that velocity is all that matters, though.

    If you hit it early enough, you only need to nudge it a tiny bit to push it out of the way.

    Of course, now you have no idea what its future orbits will be, and whether you just made it worse for the next orbit or 20.

      healthguyfsu in reply to GWB. | September 30, 2019 at 10:44 pm

      Which is why this sounds like such a great idea:

      “A DART demonstration will occur in 2021 and will impact an asteroid of comparable size to that which passed the Earth in July — roughly 160 meters across. This is, according to NASA, ‘more typical of the size of the asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to the Earth.'”

Don’t worry, Science will save us!

Oh yeah?
a 57-130 meter sized asteroid
They can’t even get the size of the asteroid down to a margin of error inside 2x. They don’t know nearly as they like to think they do, nor as much as they’d like you to think they do.

There is one good reason to find these space boogers and alert the public, even if there is nothing in our power to stop it.

What would happen if a city was suddenly obliterated, and people in charge didn’t know it WASN’T a preemptive nuclear attack?

Knowing what was going on could prevent a resulting WWIII

Bottom line: find a pyramid, and stand in front of it yelling “I am Kirok!!!!”