No boom today, boom tomorrow

There's a lot of talk about how we could save the Earth if a stray asteroid was going our way. Wikipedia - who else - has a long page on different asteroid mitigation strategies.

But, as a software engineer, I cringe at techniques which haven't actually been tried out. It is scary to think that we wouldn't try any of those things before we really NEED it to work, or else all humanity dies.

So here's a question: why don't we test out one or two of those deflection techniques and bombard Venus? Take an engine and put something on collision course with an actual planet. We could also blow up one or two stray asteroids to see if theories about rock and nukes really hold up... Venus is quite similar to Earth in size, so we might get useful info on what to actually expect from a really large explosion. Or a bunch of small ones if we blow up an asteroid just close by.

Just saying... ;-)




Comments

I heard a BBC radio programme a whil back where it was suggested that rather than hammer the fossil fuels until they're all gone, we leave some in the ground for when the next huge disaster strikes. We're going to need them to start afresh.

And they also suggested that we etch some of our basic knowledge in stone, something that will last, so when the computers and books and iPads are all gone, we know how to get going with steam and such.

--Hugo, 20-Apr-2010


I believe Carl Sagan suggested that we shouldn't test this stuff out 'cos someone could use it to threaten nations. Then again, I think any country with power to actually deflect an asteroid could probably wipe out anyone anyway.

--JanneJalkanen, 20-Apr-2010


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