General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Are we prepared to protect another planet from asteriods not just the Earth and the Moon?

Asked by talljasperman (21820points) August 11th, 2013

We might want a base in the future on another planet, could we protect that planet or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn as well as the Earth and the Moon?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

You can not protect anything from asteroids.
Silly primitive humans.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Inspired_2write's avatar

Priority: protect Earth and Moon first, successfully then other planets.
I really don’t think that we are prepared for every eventuality.

marinelife's avatar

Once we had the technology to protect Earth and the moon, I am sure we could protect anywhere we had bases.

Neodarwinian's avatar

We are not prepared to protect even the earth and the moon!

Perhaps you watch too many movies.

CWOTUS's avatar

There should be no rational reason at this time for wanting “a base on another planet” in this Solar System. None of them are inhabitable by humans, and the cost of any elements that we might intend to mine there would be far, far outstripped by the cost of the base and transport itself.

The lack of need for a base obviates the need to “protect” those planets. In point of fact, the gas giants in our Solar System protect Earth from a lot of asteroid hits by pulling them in on themselves before they get into our orbit. We certainly wouldn’t want to get in the way of that.

zenvelo's avatar

Why do we want to protect the moon? You think an asteroid is going to knock it into earth? Anything that big would be awfully damn difficult to divert so that it missed the moon and the Earth.

Better to figure out a way to fend off an earthbound asteroid.

ETpro's avatar

@zenvelo The moon is responsible for the tides. Tidal action sustains a huge portion of river, salt marsh, and sea life. That life in turn sustains other organisms that feed on it, and on up the food chain to humans. Also, the Moon stabilizes the precession of Earth’s orbit. Without it, our seasons would grow increasingly stochastic, threatening animal and plant species on a massive scale.

We know how. We just haven’t bothered to build anything yet to protect either Earth or the Moon from a deadly asteroid strike. We’re to busy figuring out what’s going to happen to the Kardashians now, and who’s going to win Dancing with the Stars. We’re pretty self-absorbed, pathetic excuses for what could be rational beings.

gorillapaws's avatar

Earth should obviously be the priority, but if something caused major issues to the other planets, it would likely influence the Earth as well. The shifts in the orbits of other planets could potentially affect our orbit (I’m pretty sure I’m right about that) which could have some really nasty consequences.

hogbuttons's avatar

The methods we have would be: to destroy it (the cheapest and easiest method) and to alter its trajectory (causing it to miss us). Destruction would most likely be done by firing upon it with nuclear explosive devices with the intention of fragmenting it into many smaller pieces. Destruction poses the risk of creating a large amount of debris, some of which may not burn up in the atmosphere, that could still impact Earth. Trying to track the many potential threats afterward would be very difficult. This would work best against large solid bodies, but for aggregate bodies (those composed of many smaller bodies held together by gravity) we would have to resort to more indirect and likely non-nuclear methods of flying alongside it and doing just enough to change its course (extremely costly, involving mass drivers, gravity tractors, and/or aimed lasers/masers). Another option against large bodies would involve planting nuclear devices onto it and exploding them, thereby causing it to alter its course. The drawback here is that this would require extensive knowledge of the surface upon which it was to be planted. While we do not have extensive plans for how we would do any of this, we do have ways of seeing them coming and continue to develop new ways of finding threats. If and when we found a threat, we would likely develop an ad hoc strategy for how to deal with it, involving the best of the above described methods tailored to that specific threat. While we may seem disorganized, and we may be, human beings are found to work best, psychologically speaking, when placed under superordinate goals. I can hardly think of a more superordinate goal…

mattbrowne's avatar

Jupiter easily swallows them without anyone getting hurt.

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