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Wednesday 24 January 2018

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Moonandback Interview With Stephen D Covey, part 2 – An Asteroid Capture Plan

At ISDC, Stephen D. Covey continues to talk about capturing Apophis, giving the specifics of a plan to do so.

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2 Responses to “Moonandback Interview With Stephen D Covey, part 2 – An Asteroid Capture Plan”

  1. Rasmus says:

    Sounds good, but since there will be some opposition to capturing it into earth orbit, could L1 (in Earth-Moon system) be a safer alternative ? There it could be disassembled and little chunks of it brought closer to Earth.

  2. Rasmus,
    You are right, there will be significant opposition to any movement of a near-Earth asteroid that poses even a remote chance of impacting the Earth. That opposition will extend to all of the Earth-Moon Lagrange points (they also qualify as Earth orbits).

    Our best chance for public acceptance is to divide the asteroid into small enough portions that they could not penetrate the atmosphere. The good news is the maximum size is significantly large for gravel piles or bagged regolith – perhaps as large as 60 meters (60-80 thousand tons). Forty-meter bags of gravel massing 20,000 tons will certainly not pose a real hazard, and those we could target into Low Earth Orbit (or more easily near L5 or a Highly Eccentric Earth Orbit) where we could reach them with mining and smelting operations.

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