How to stop an asteroid from destroying life on earth
Professor Bong Wie is busy making plans to save the planet from potential asteroid threats.
Apparently last week's meteorite explosion in Siberia has people worrying.
Texas Senator Lamar Smith (R) is among the concerned; he has promised to conduct a hearing to address the imminent threats from outer space. And California Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R) is pushing for a multi-million dollar program to research and eventually defend against asteroids.
Professor Wie, director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University, has a plan for destroying an Earth-bound asteroid. The idea is straightforward:
Stick a massive nuclear device into it and blast it to smithereens.
"Astronauts will not be required, so clearly this would be an unmanned robotic mission—but we will need a nuclear device," Wie says.
The trick, according to Wie, is to penetrate the surface of the approaching asteroid before detonating the nuke. If the bomb were to explode on impact, the asteroid would be undeterred from its potentially deadly course.
Wie hat tips Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton for their successful efforts to drill beneath the asteroid surface in the film, Armageddon.
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