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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Space Mirror Concept Could Save Earth From Asteroid Impact

A fleet of spacecraft may one day be configured with large mirrors to point energy to an asteroid on an Earth impact trajectory to avert the asteroid impact in what has been termed the Mirror Bee’ concept.

The Glasgow University Space Advanced Research Team (SpaceART) has developed the space mirror asteroid deflection concept in response to the growing threat of an asteroid strike.

A single mirror would be effective, but it would need to be up to 10km across, notes Dr. Massimiliano Vasile. But using technology from missions involving constellations of satellites, multiple spacecraft could be flown in formation, with smaller mirrors, to focus the sunlight onto a single spot, 1-1.5m across.

If we have a satellite with a mirror 2m in diameter, we would need 1000 of them, and they’d have to focus the sunlight for 90 days to deflect an asteroid the size of Apophis,’ the space scientist said.

‘But if we go up to 20m, we’d need ten satellites and 200 days.’ The satellites would weight about 500kg, which is lighter than the satellites for the Galileo global positioning system, he added. ‘It’s well within our launch capabilities.’


brain said...

Every eventuality has to be considered and approached. A big mirror in space has many weaknesses such as micro meteors, space debris and even an unpredicted plasma storm could disrupt vital hardware. Any one of these things along with other unrealised weaknesses has the potential to cripple the mission at a crucial moment. The idea of individual mirrors on satellites is a good start to a good idea however, a large mirror is more practical because it would be lighter making it cheaper to transport and something that would unfold into a much larger size but be more vulnerable so, combine the two ideas. Have several large mirrors incase any fall victim to space debris or micro meteors and find a way in the mean time to protect them from plasma storms. Even if we are successful at firing the equivalent of a solar power laser beam. How powerful will it be? Should we at least test the idea on an old satellite or do somekind of target practise? If it did work i fear it might break the asteroid apart into many pieces and achieve a partial success. If this were the case then nuclear weapons should come into play. The explosions would be more effective at repelling small fragments of rock as opposed to apophises entire volume. When it comes to funding, these projects really need a signed blank cheque. Expense should not be an issue. This asteroid might not be a planet killer but, it do more harm than the so called experts realise. How will the carbon dioxide levels or the ozone layer look after an explosion of that magnitude. This giant piece of comet is travelling at 28000 miles an hour. We need to throw everything we have at it.

Anonymous said...

Since the ancestral time, world space research is progressing on wrong concept because we unknown about space mirror which is a great mystery and creator of lots of mysteries viz. milk ways, galaxies, nebulas, white drafts, black holes etcs. Hence without study of space mirror the space research has no future.
Therefore it invites to visit to know the original truth and for prosperous space research.
Mirror reflects frontier. Mirror functions like a wall. There is nothing ahead of mirror but reflection makes lively atmosphere into mirror. If two mirrors face each other in parallel position the concerned area between mirrors is converted to a biggest atmosphere because the concerned area reflected unlimitedly as front side and backside into each mirror frequently. Space mirror is based on above rule and we are unknown about space mirror. From sun the objects of area 225 million kilometer to 300 million kilometer of solar system reflects unlimitedly, we find a very deep space and through giant telescopes we watch mystery after mystery. Telescope enlarges view not closes near view. Following may clear the concept “A visitor of a desert often find mirage. If he moves mirage also moves. He can never reach near the mirage. If he tries he can see enlarge view of mirage as smoky atmosphere through a telescopic instrument”.
Giant telescope like Hubble and others may be the milestone of our technology but it can not help the real space research.