When NASA sends a rocket out to tow an asteroid into Earth orbit, it'll be ion propelled.
Ion propulsion engines harness magnetic fields to create thrust, instead of depending on chemical explosions the way chemically fueled engines do. NASA engineers are developing such an engine for the agency's plans to bring an asteroid into Earth's orbit and then send astronauts there to study it. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden went to see a prototype engine yesterday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, the Associated Press reported.
Bolden also praised the bring-it-to-us asteroid study plan. Originally, the Obama Administration wanted to send people to the asteroid belt, but bringing an asteroid here instead will be cheaper. The technologies the Asteroid Retrieval Initiative develops will help NASA shuttle people to Mars in the future, Bolden told the Pasadena Sun.
Ion thrusters are more fuel efficient and last longer than chemical engines, characteristics the U.S.' asteroid-hauling rocket will need, John Brophy, an electric propulsion engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Pasadena Sun. NASA began researching the technology in the 1950s and first used it in a spacecraft in 2001.
The Asteroid Retrieval Initiative will cost an estimated $2.6 billion. It should have people on an asteroid in six to 10 years. The project's leaders are looking to bring in an asteroid that's 20 to 25 feet in diameter—something that would burn up in the Earth's atmosphere in the event that it strays too close to home.
ASTEROIDS, COMETS, AND METEORS ORIGINATED FROM EARTH: In the Earth's past there were powerful volcanic explosions propelling millions of tons of earth soil and rock (now asteroids and meteors which may contain organic molecules or organisms) into space. Read my popular Internet article, ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH. The article explains how millions of tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars, and how debris we call asteroids and meteors could have originated from Earth. According to a Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p. 12 that quotes a NASA scientist, SEVEN MILLION tons of Earth soil may exist on Mars! How could this be possible? Read and find out.
Even if the right chemicals exist, life cannot arise by chance. The molecules that make-up life have to be in a sequence, just like the letters found in a sentence. Please read my popular Internet articles listed below:
SCIENCE AND THE ORIGIN OF LIFE, NATURAL LIMITS OF EVOLUTION, HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM, WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition), DOES GOD PARTICLE EXPLAIN UNIVERSE'S ORIGIN? ANY LIFE ON MARS CAME FROM EARTH, NO HALF-EVOLVED DINOSAURS
Check out my most recent Internet articles and sites: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION and WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition)
Babu G. Ranganathan*
Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS
*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.
Efficient drives are nice, but when hauling the great extinctor into orbit, it's nice to have something with a little more muscle in case, for example, you find you mixed up the metric system with English Standard. Probably never happen, right?
I hope you were laughing as much when you wrote that, as we all are when reading it.
The concept was conceived in russia in 1911. The soviets tested it in space in the 60's and have been using it operationally since the 70's.
Your description of "Ion propulsion engines harness magnetic fields to create thrust" is rather veague and may give readers the wrong impression. These plasma type thrusters heat a gas with electricity to incredibly high temperatures and use magnetic confinement to prevent that gas from touching anything in the thruster which would lead to its erosion and eventual destruction. Allot of designs use static electricity to accelerate the plasma. They are one of the only real technologies that could allow for interstellar transportation.
bgrnathan You may have a large following in the future if you continue to develop your crazy theory. Desperate superstitious people will find your doctrine comforting.
Why don't they use some fishing net, and shoot it with a catapult from the ISS and haul the asteroid towards us, might cost just about a million instead of a couple billion. First pull up the wire from Earth send with a bow and arrow, roll it up and shoot it forward at a fine spot to catch the rock. This is a plan from the 15 hundreds, Leonardo Da Vinci style.
Thank you for my daily laugh, it was much appreciated.
I wont even....
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2.6 Billion dollars is a lot of money to spend to investigate an asteroid that will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, IMHO I think NASA should spend its money to investigate an asteroid that will not burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, like an asteroid that is at least 25 to 50 meters across, an asteroid that has the potential to level a city. For an asteroid of that size, NASA will have to send a crew of astronauts to the asteroid.
Instead of spending $2.5B on this boondoggle, why not simply wait for asteroids to hit the earth's surface and then go pick up the pieces for study?