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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-6-13 February 6, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-6-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1945-BWB-2013-02-06.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Don Yeomans,  Dr. David Livingston:  Topics: Near Earth Objects and Asteroid 2012 DA14.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.

     During our 11 minute plus discussion with Dr. Don Yeomans of the NASA Near Earth Object Program Office at JPL, we talked about the 17,500 mile approach to Earth of Asteroid 2012 DA14.  This asteroid will be this close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013.  We discussed the asteroid’s orbit, possible collision with our satellites, and how we might deflect or mitigate the damage of an object this size that might be headed for Earth impact.  This particular asteroid is probably made of rock and has a 45 meter diameter.  Dr. Yeomans also talked about the search for potential NEOs that could impact the Earth, breaking the search down by the size of the space object.  Our guest suggested the best viewing spots for trying to see Asteroid 2012 DA14 but unfortunately the sites are not in the U.S.  To really see it, one would need binoculars or a telescope.

      Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12 May 2, 2012

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Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1766-BWB-2012-05-01.mp3

Guest:  Rusty Schweickart.   Topics:  Planetary Defense, NEO deflection.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed back Rusty Schweickart to update us on the latest with planetary defense and NEO risk assessment.  Rusty started our discussion with an examining of the asteroid 2011 AG5 which if it goes through the keyhole in 2023, would be likely to hit Earth in 2040.  During much of this first segment, our guest explained asteroid orbital issues, the keyhole and why it is so important to understand it, Earth’s gravity impact on NEOs, and the different deflection techniques.  He talked about the need for a dual mission which would include an observer satellite plus the kinetic impact deflector.  The observer satellite would be needed to confirm the hit and if the deflection was sufficient to miss the keyhole.  He estimated the cost for such a mission from $500 million to a billion or more!  We also learned that the keyhole for AG5 is about 300 KM wide and that is a much easier deflection than trying to do it once AG5 goes through the keyhole. Then we would be looking at a deflection roughly equal to the Earth’s diameter of 20,000 km which is a much harder deflection to accomplish requiring significantly more energy and costs.  Other issues talked about in this segment included the state of our existing technology to accomplish a deflection, the risks associated with AG5, the issue of who pays for the cost of such a mission, the role of a heavy lift launcher in deflection, and asteroid finding space telescopes.

In our second segment, we talked about different scenarios for deflection and the cost of deflection compared to the cost of an evacuation of people from the impact zone.  Rusty talked about knowing the impact zone and why we can evaluate this much further in advance of impact than when working with space debris.  A listener asked about using a nuclear bomb in space for mitigation. Rusty took us through the nuclear analysis and when as a last resort, a nuke might be needed.  In this analysis, he again went over the kinetic impact and then talked about the gravity tractor concept which he said was slow but very precise.  In his analysis, he used an interesting analogy to baseball, pitching the fastball, & the point at which the batter must act given the speed of the ball.  Don’t miss it.  We talked more on telescopes and he mentioned the University of Hawaii ATLAS project (www.fallingstar.com). Another important point discussed in this segment was the fact that NASA has no official responsibility to protect us from a hit.  We talked about the consequences of this policy, changing the policy to officially give NASA this responsibility, and funding it through the budget process.  During our discussion, Rust outlined several steps that listeners could take if interested in this issue.  Rusty offered specific recommendations all of us could do that would be beneficial to planetary defense.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to send Rusty a note, please do so through me.

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