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NASA plans to use nuclear device carrier Hammer spaceship to change asteroid orbit

via:cnBeta.COM     time:2018/3/17 9:31:30     readed:335

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Hammer refers to the emergency response spacecraft that mitigating the mission of ultra-high-speed asteroids. Hammer is currently a concept, but if built, it will be a 30-foot-high (9-meter) spacecraft weighing 8.8 tons that can serve as an asteroid striker or as a vehicle for nuclear installations.

According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Bennu's weight is 1,664 times that of the Titanic, which is as wide as about five football fields. If it hits the Earth, it will release 80,000 times the energy of the atomic bomb used in Hiroshima in 1945. This will be devastating.

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Hammer plans to use NASA's Delta IV heavy rocket launch. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published a paper in the February issue of Journal of Astronautics that evaluated the option of using spacecraft to change the Bennu orbit. The researchers said that changing the asteroid's operating route would be ideal, but it needs to be a "moderate boost."

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The team analyzed various scenarios. For example, if the Hammer mission is not launched until 10 years before the impact, "it has been determined that 34 to 53 Delta IV heavy rockets may need to be launched, each rocket will carry a separate Hammer striker to allow Bennu-class asteroids to change orbits." Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said on Thursday.

The lab pointed out: "The results of the study indicate that large objects like Bennu may require nuclear options." The researchers are studying this method and plan to publish follow-up studies on nuclear scenarios. This will involve detonating a nuclear explosive at a distance from the asteroid to evaporate part of the surface and create a rocket-like propulsive effect to change its course.

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