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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:52 PM

House committee to hold hearing on asteroid threat

Source: The Hill

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on how to “better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth,” Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement on Friday.

The announcement comes after a meteorite exploded in a massive blast above Siberia that damaged buildings, houses and cars and injured about 1,000 people on Friday.

<snip>

“Today’s events are a stark reminder of the need to invest in space science,” Smith said. “Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed just 17,000 miles from Earth, less than the distance of a round trip from New York to Sydney. And this morning, a much smaller meteorite hit near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, damaging buildings and injuring hundreds."

"Developing technology and research that enable us to track objects like Asteroid 2012 DA14 is critical to our future," Smith said. "We should continue to invest in systems that identify threatening asteroids and develop contingencies, if needed, to change the course of an asteroid headed toward Earth.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/283427-house-committee-to-hold-hearing-on-asteroids-that-pose-a-potential-threat-to-earth

42 replies, 4264 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply House committee to hold hearing on asteroid threat (Original post)
bananas Feb 2013 OP
efhmc Feb 2013 #1
longship Feb 2013 #20
paleotn Feb 2013 #24
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #28
Coyotl Feb 2013 #36
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #37
Coyotl Feb 2013 #38
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #39
iandhr Feb 2013 #2
pscot Feb 2013 #3
Ian David Feb 2013 #6
KamaAina Feb 2013 #10
paleotn Feb 2013 #25
TrogL Feb 2013 #7
iandhr Feb 2013 #9
pscot Feb 2013 #17
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #26
longship Feb 2013 #29
TheMadMonk Feb 2013 #33
wickerwoman Feb 2013 #13
bluedigger Feb 2013 #4
Ian David Feb 2013 #5
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #8
iandhr Feb 2013 #12
paleotn Feb 2013 #31
KamaAina Feb 2013 #11
xocet Feb 2013 #14
paleotn Feb 2013 #34
xocet Feb 2013 #41
Earth_First Feb 2013 #15
Enrique Feb 2013 #16
lastlib Feb 2013 #18
Xipe Totec Feb 2013 #19
DallasNE Feb 2013 #21
Posteritatis Feb 2013 #30
DallasNE Feb 2013 #35
KansDem Feb 2013 #22
One_Life_To_Give Feb 2013 #23
calimary Feb 2013 #40
ReRe Feb 2013 #27
Kablooie Feb 2013 #32
xxqqqzme Feb 2013 #42

Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:56 PM

1. Just a way this kook can call for space weapons for the military without IDing

them as such.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:32 PM

20. A weapon is a very bad way to solve the problem.

First, it wouldn't solve the problem. What is left of the asteroid would still hit, and if you hit it with a nuke, it would be full of radioactive daughter products.

You want to move it, change its orbit, since that's the way you get it to miss. And you can do that without what would be called a weapon if you know its orbit ahead of time.

If all one can think of are nuclear weapons to fix this, one probably has been watching too many Bruce Willis movies. At least Steve Buscemi's character got it right. "Guess what guys! It's time to embrace the horror."

It won't work.

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Response to longship (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:24 PM

24. Now stop it!!!

You're ruining a perfectly good cover for space based weapons!! Your don't expect a Rethuglican committee chair to do anything for the RIGHT reasons, do you? It may seem like they are, but I bet you dollars to donuts there's some nefarious, real reason hidden inside.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:44 PM

28. Most of the feasible deflection strategies would make lousy weapons, so no. (nt)

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:53 PM

36. Huh?

Is that a prediction or just hyperbole?

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #36)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:01 PM

37. It's one of the standard anti-space lines that gets bandied around DU. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #37)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:10 PM

38. I guess the Birchers don't have a monopoly on paranoid politics.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #38)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:19 PM

39. That's just what they want you to think.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:59 PM

2. To The Honorable Lamar Smith. United States House of Representatives.

Dear Mr Smith,

I saw that you are for developing technology and research that would enable us to track Asteroids.

I was wondering if you were aware this would require the government to spend money. Something that Republicans oppose.


Sincerly,

iandhr

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:59 PM

3. Brilliant! Global warming is killing the planet

and these fools are worried about entirely improbable acts of god that they can't do anything about. They must show up for committee meetings in a clown car.

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:26 PM

6. Asteroids can kill us suddenly. Global Warming will kill us slowly.

We have to wait until our pants are on fire, or until a gun is pointed at our heads, to see a real threat.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:30 PM

10. "We have to wait until our pants are on fire..."

Well, then, repukes should be seeing threats all the time! "No mas pantalones."

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Response to Ian David (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:33 PM

25. Then it's too damn late!

by the time some republican's polyester blend pants catch fire, we'll be at what?....700 ppm CO2? The planet will look like something out of Book of Eli??

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:27 PM

7. you can move an asteroid if you have enough warning

I'm doing this from memory so bear with me. The asteroid that just went by will do two more safe orbits, then may hit the earth in 2060(?). If we can get something into its orbit in 2024(?) or 2048(?) we could attach a solar sail and tow it into a safe orbit so it doesn't hit us in 2060.

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Response to TrogL (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:29 PM

9. Thank you

Cool stuff.

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Response to TrogL (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:53 PM

17. Before that asteroid hits us

you'll be able to cook a steak, medium well on the sidewalk in Dallas or Atlanta, and Miami will look like Venice on the Atlantic. But let's not worry about that. Ooh look! Up in the sky!

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Response to pscot (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:42 PM

26. Read a book or two and come back when you've got some education on the topic. (nt)

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Response to TrogL (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:45 PM

29. Solar sail? Probably not.

Asteroids rotate, just as about every other heavenly body does. Many rotate quite quickly. So any solution to move an asteroid into another orbit has to be independent of its rotation. Therefore, attaching anything to the asteroid in general won't work if you want to be able to control it so it won't hit. You want to push it into a safe orbit, not just any old orbit that isn't the one that makes it hit us in 25 years. Hell, you could push it into a different keyhole that brings the sucker into collision in 18 months. What would we do then? I guess we say, "Oopsie!"

My favorite? A gravity tug with an ion engine.

Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer talks about it here:

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Response to TrogL (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:02 PM

33. Not a sail as such. But coat surface of the proto-meteoroid,...

 

...with adsorbent and reflective paints. Underlying rock picks up heat at different rates while in sunlight, then radiated away while in shadow. Result is a minute thrust away from dark areas of the surface whilst they are in shadow.

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:33 PM

13. I'm sure someone said exactly the same thing about the levees in New Orleans.

"Flooding is an act of God and we can't do anything about it. The chance of a hurricane hitting New Orleans directly is infinitesimal. We have so many other things we need to be spending our money on."

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:19 PM

4. Alan Grayson is on that committee.



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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:24 PM

5. Hah! Obama got the asteroids and meteoroids to do this just to further his agenda...

... of keeping the human race from going extinct!

I'm sure Republicans will do their best to thwart that, and instead focus on the more important task of making sure gay people can't claim one another on their taxes.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:28 PM

8. Better start building that Death Star!

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Response to Fuddnik (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:32 PM

12. The White House has come out against The Death Star.

The chief science advisor said "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that could be exploited by a one-man starship?"

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Response to iandhr (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:51 PM

31. Sounds like a KBR project to me.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:31 PM

11. The "House Science Committee" is an oxymoron, like "military intelligence" or "conservative thinker"

I'm almost certain that this heraring will involve dinosaurs in some way.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:40 PM

14. The House SST Committee should first hold a hearing that explores why many of them do not respect...

the value of science.

Here again is some of the evidence:



113th Congress, SST Committee Members

Republican Members (22)

Lamar Smith, Texas*
F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
Ralph M. Hall, Texas+
Dana Rohrabacher, California**
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Michael T. McCaul, Texas
Paul Broun, Georgia
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Mo Brooks, Alabama
Andy Harris, M.D., Maryland
Randy Hultgren, Illinois
Larry Bucshon, Indiana
Steve Stockman, Texas
Bill Posey, Florida
Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming
David Schweikert, Arizona
Thomas Massie, Kentucky
Kevin Cramer, North Dakota
Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma
Randy Weber, Texas
Chris Stewart , Utah

http://science.house.gov/about/membership


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Response to xocet (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:17 PM

34. Is it me, or does Texlahoma...

...seem to be overly represented on that committe? Matter of fact, it appears natural resource extraction states have half the votes. So much for any renewable energy research funding coming out of that committe.

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Response to paleotn (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:04 PM

41. 10 of the full committee of 39 members are either from Texas or Oklahoma so it is not just you. n/t

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:42 PM

15. The committee is led by a Republican?

We're fucked.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:48 PM

16. I propose a game

every time someone mentions God or prayer, do a line of bath salts.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:54 PM

18. Aren't killer asteroids just a theory?

I mean, come on, everyone knows that the dinosaurs died of sin, b/c they didn't all get on the Ark--hey, it's in the Bible, ferChrissakes! We need to give equal time to other theories, and let students decide for themselves, not force these theories from the pit of Hell on them......



(An' b'sides, re-defining rape is MUCH more important)

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Response to lastlib (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:26 PM

19. Not if they're legitimate asteroids

Legitimate asteroids can sense the presence of planets and alter their trajectories to avoid becoming meteors.



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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:37 PM

21. This Was An Expected Event

At least Russia has said that they were aware of its presence but knowing the composition and size they didn't want to cause a panic. DA14 was something like 4 times the size so is this debate all about size?

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:48 PM

30. It's more about the absolute certainy that these *will* do something worse eventually

If this one showed up about three hours later it would've exploded over Moscow and we'd be talking a hundred thousand people injured instead "just" a thousand. Some hours earlier and the same thing could've happened over China.

Try not to think too hard about something like that happening in, say, 1983.

People like to dismiss this sort of thing - look at most of the responses in this thread; DU's always been passionately Luddite about anything space-related - by claiming nothing's ever going to happen, or by just doing the "science fiction therefore fiction" thing that the press likes to do. There's a thousand Russians who are very, very lucky only to have burst eardrums and faces full of broken glass who have some opinions on that sort of attitude by now, I'm sure.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:24 PM

35. This Kind Of Stuff Fascinates Me

For instance, they said this meteorite was travelling at 33,500 MPH but that is relative to Earth. Earth is traveling through space at around 65,000 MPH if my math is correct. If this object was coming at earth from the opposite direction then the speed would be the sum of the two so scratch that. If the object was coming at us from a right angle then it seems to me it would have been a T-bone crash so scratch that. That leaves this object going the same direction as Earth. So was the Earth overtaking this object by 33,500 MPH or was the object overtaking the Earth by 33,500 MPH? It makes a huge difference as to the relative speed this object was moving through space.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:49 PM

22. How long before they bring up Benghazi?

Any bets?
________

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:55 PM

23. Obviously we need to send Kirok into the temple and make the blue flame come out

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:34 PM

40. OMG!!! ROFL!!!

That's GREAT!!!

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:44 PM

27. All I can say is:

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:58 PM

32. Scare a Republican and money will flow.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:35 PM

42. WHAT?!

Rely on science?

These fools! Aren't their prayers good enough to protect the earth?






just in case

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