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ESA's Don Quixote mission, A potential orbiter/impactor for NEO's
ilbasso
post Aug 17 2011, 02:49 AM
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Just saw this reference as Apophis as a potential test target for the ESA Don Quixote NEA impactor mission.

Would testing this on Apophis actually increase the likelihood of debris impacting Earth?


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nprev
post Aug 17 2011, 02:53 AM
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Problem becomes non-linear rapidly absent better info, but I would say no; too many other larger influences.


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Explorer1
post Aug 17 2011, 06:28 AM
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Plus it's years (even assuming the mission is delayed a bit) before it gets near Earth; 2029 and 2036 are still a long way away, lots of time for debris to spread thin.
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djellison
post Aug 17 2011, 07:56 AM
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QUOTE (ilbasso @ Aug 16 2011, 06:49 PM) *
Would testing this on Apophis actually increase the likelihood of debris impacting Earth?


Come on - how stupid do you think the scientists involved actually are?
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ilbasso
post Aug 17 2011, 01:49 PM
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Oh, I don't know, Doug - everyone likes a good mad-scientist-destroys-Earth horror story every now and again. Perhaps the CERN supercollider's black hole will swallow Earth before the Apophis debris hits us. That is, unless the apes take over first.


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djellison
post Aug 17 2011, 01:57 PM
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QUOTE (ilbasso @ Aug 17 2011, 06:49 AM) *
everyone likes a good mad-scientist-destroys-Earth horror story every now and again..


They rarely make it through peer review.
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Drkskywxlt
post Aug 17 2011, 04:19 PM
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Has Don Quijote actually been selected for flight? ESA's website still lists it as a "concept". Even Wikipedia says it's in the "planning stages".

From what little I know about the British media, the Daily Mail is not the most rigourous at fact-checking.
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jasedm
post Sep 3 2011, 06:38 PM
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I've come up against a brick wall in trying to find out anything further on this mission, including e-mailing a couple of the investigators linked to the project (no responses to date) The mission concept is very intriguing, but it seems to be very much on the back-burner - at least 5 years of being in the 'concept' stages.
It would be a shame if the mission never flew, as it has the potential if successful to improve our knowledge of how an asteroid's orbit changes following an impact, and also to provide in-situ science of the material excavated from beneath the crust.

Ilbasso: The website blurb states that an AMOR asteroid would be targeted (i.e one that is well outside earth's orbit), so they're taking no chances with any stray debris smile.gif

Jase
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