From the Arizona Republic:
You can learn something about a rock by looking at it. But what most geologists really want is to smack it with a hammer.
And that’s just what planetary scientists will do July 4 when NASA’s Deep Impact mission reaches the comet Tempel 1 after a trip of six months and 80 million miles.
If all goes well, an 820-pound copper “hammer” the size of a bathtub will separate from its mother ship and, 24 hours later, smash into the comet’s icy nucleus at about 23,000 mph. advertisement
The high-speed impact will wallop the pickle-shaped comet with energy equivalent to 4.8 tons of TNT, said Michael A’Hearn, a University of Maryland astronomer and principal investigator on the $311 million mission.
Nobody’s sure what will happen next. There’s a small chance the impactor will blow the 2 1/2-mile-long comet to smithereens, or simply bore right through it like a bullet through a snowball. More likely, scientists say, it will blast open a crater the size of a football stadium. It all depends on what Tempel 1 is made of.I know what happens next… Armageddon II – Electric Boogaloo!
Cue the cheesy Aerosmith music, the robotic Ben Affleck, and the babelicious Liv Tyler…
Yeah yeah… hammer and comet and stuff… kewl.
But THANKS for the Liv Tyler link!!! Nice job!
You can learn something about a politician by looking at it. But what most voters really want is to smack it with a hammer.
A reference to “Breakin’ 2-Electric Boogaloo!”
It sucked so bad it was the ’80s version of “Alexander”.
I’d smack Liv Tyler, but not with a hammer.
Unless she’s, y’know, into that kind of thing.
– Apparently we don’t have enough things to shoot at here on earth these days….
– Actually one of the unspoken purposes of this experiment is to test our ability to successfully do the deed with the idea that we will need to someday, when that “rogie” body we don’t see comes hurdling at us from deep space….The mapping program of large bodies that has been going on for the last twenty years is starting to have some positive effects….The close encounter this fall within a million miles, close by astronomical standards, didn’t hurt the cause either….The good news is we’ll have ample warning. The somber news is we better be accurate, we may not get too many chances…..
Once again, what Hunter wrote (^^), and, this is one area of engineering where there is no margin for error. “OOOps, it JUUUSTTT missed!” doesn’t solve the problem, nor does, “Wow, now there are FOUR objects hurtling toward Earth and at an accelerated speed!”
More of why I believe engineers should be paid very, very well and given great big desks and the ability to order in whenever they want to. Not like they get a second chance to blow into bits the impending and certain cause of an ELE.
Why be a man when you can be a success?
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