How can humanity escape the fate of the dinosaurs? Find out when Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, co-founder of the B612 foundation, devoted to protecting Earth from asteroids. With co-host Eugene Mirman.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip. The commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, commercial, free. Welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collapse. Not all begin right now, this startle, I'm your hosting photographs, I can your personal astrophysicists and also served as the director of New York City is Hayden Planetarium right here in New York City at the American Museum of Natural history, and the featuring my interview this week with stay, swaggered he's in APOLLO nine astronaut on a pile of genuine APOLLO era, astronaut and he's been hell bent on trial, prevent humans from going extinct, preventing Armageddon by trying to deflect asteroids and of course I need some community.
Open this work and so Eugene Moment and welcome back onto start taught you two evenings rapidly, so what you, what you been up to before we get cause so you'd, Just read like in the news you released, like a name album. I really so many track volume album. That's also seven kelpies and you can bite in the formats LP what year When we talk about fifteen over the use of violence more popular. Ok, so you have comedy for audio fuck. My thoughts are ready and there's the volume of sound of sound effect, all sorts of to look for it. I didn't believe it when I say everything about. It is true everything that I read his true got so rusty, founded which hold the beast six twelve foundation and its private not for profit, and all its trying to do is protect earth from killer asteroids. That's all is trying to do her there like how many, how
Carbon is this: there are squeal, lions of them know there's tonnes, but how many are killer, We don't know that that list what we met. We know that the word of them out there. We know where they are and how many there, but that might not be the biggest problem, because for every one that would under us all extinct there, ten others where they could just totally we'd havoc with civilization, ok, yeah, so both at exactly now rusty Schwaiger, he was an appalling nine people. That is forgotten. Apologies a power. Eight were the first people to leave earth and go to the moon they land, but they went and took that famous photo of earth rise over the moon went near them mooted. They went in and orbiting the moon, but APOLLO nine stayed in earth orbit to test more apparatus before APOLLO. Ten actually went to the moon and also didn't land
power eleven they landed. So what people forget is these? These weren't, a single missions, boldly go where no one has gone before from from the beginning, to the end of the trip, every piece of that was tested and and and verified so that we can protect human life and make make it a fun discover as they did not the way I have gone to the citizens now retired, of course, as an astronaut uneasy he's a business executive and he worked in satellites and telecommunication, so he's so to state and he's had a foot in the satellite world and he's also founder and past present of the Association of Space Explorers Geneva that it that's an exclusive. Here you remember it's only people who explored space or it exactly he had not who wants to those like it's like less exclusive than presidents of the? U S but more exclusive, yes, not yet Serbia, because their only. How many for
for we have whatever the number is right- and this is in the like five hundred in something and its international, of course, of course, of course great cosmonauts too, so he keep. He cofounded be six welfare nation back in two thousand and two along with a friend and colleague of mine, PETE Hut. Loser in astrophysics, hissed and he's also brought on the? U assessed or not at loo another friend and colleague. These all astrophysicist come in to bear on this, while so been in space at Lisbon Space, but not had not PETE Hut and is also another one of my colleagues Clark Chapman, whose a planetary scientists to have all the right people who know how to think about the solar system and protected from it. So, let's go to the first clip of this interview that I held with Rusty Schwaiger and Jesse worries come in for and why be six twelve really came out of actually out of an EIA C. Mere associations, basics, wars, meeting where Franklin, Chang, D C
freedom is of great innovative propulsion, gun, right, vascular engine resonated and asthma engine is applies, magneto pleasant engine and at one meeting Franklin gave us lecture on the status of his vassals engine development and at the end of his presentation, were also. What do you use for frank ladder? You see envision using this incredible unique breaks. Revenge. And among the things he threw out, was pushing an asteroid and we kind of at each others said that the useful and we had a lunch after the launch, almost said hey if anybody pick us up and does anything with it. Let's all call one another, and so at Loo was giving a lecture at Princeton is suit for events, studies in two thousand one and got together with PETE Hut. Who was up there s a visit. I was there at the time you were there. We attended
talk, they got talking about it and they decided, in the end, to call a meeting at Johns Space Center that it hosted in the fall of two thousand one in October. This is after all, eleven. The issue was, we all knew the people who were there were very sensitive to unaware that we are finding more more asteroids, and yet nobody was anything about what do you do about it, Sir later ratifies and where I had resolution course at some point you're, going find it but nobody's I'm thinking about that the two immediate questions were number one. If anything be done about, and we but two days- and it was clear that the EP, if you knew about early enough, yet you could do something about it and then a second class, What can we do anything to bring that something about that was gonna? form, an organization. You can't just do it by thinking so that
that was the origin of basic tall and- and we named be six twelve, because in ed lose kitchen afterward he and and I was sitting around the country beer and were saying what the heck do. We call this thing and PETE said. I think that the little Prince number one, the little prince came from an asteroid, but I think it had a name so we went on dignity for Google. We want on the internet and PETE sure not found that it will be. Six twelve was the little princess asteroid, and so we that You can be six twelve, the curious thing you ever so the author of
little princes and one Saint Hubert, whose a highly literate poetic even aviator. So he got to get describe his experiences back in the day when very few people, ever flu or so at a cloud looks like from above and so he's written southernmost compelling statements about what is to explore and to go. You haven't been, and a little bit of that is in as in the little prince, because he's he's hangs out on an asteroid. So there is a little obscurity. Gotta be sort of child book. Illiterate been explained deficits, as has been explained, and so I'd so ya out at night. Have you ever worried about getting hit? Yeah I mean I I kind of I'm glad to know. I figured someone like Rusty was out there figuring something you hoped that deal with expected, that to be
takes was like I'm a little worried, but some people who have a better senses, it are probably like. Oh, I think I have a plan D. I didn't think the plane. It sounds like their plans to attach engines to asteroids and fly them away. We don't have a plan. You did on idea. It's an idea. The right we have. We have ideas for plants blow it up more little part we'll come and destroy all aware there, so their complications in almost all of these scenarios, but I don't know if, if viewers EL, the difference when a meteor meteorite meteorite, you know the difference, Manila Headache one is one that has already crashed and destroyed Russia and one that is on its way to destroy. That's that efforts, not what is one that's on earth and one is
setting toward yes or meteorite Z after you, for if after hit- and you pick it up, it's a meteorite right and by the way I think they're too many words for this stuff that its unnecessary. But we have it anyway, so here they are. So if you pick it up and it fell from the sky, it's a meteorite, while you observe it moving through the atmosphere, it's a meteor yeah and usually it's going so fast at its rendered, a glow as its kinetic energy converts from thermal energy star. It isn't really assure us that no, no, it's the it's! It's not like a shooting start; it is what a shooting stars described. Right, right, yes and, of course, is not or falling started. That's it it's fun to watch what things get named, because their reminders of how much how little we know about what the hell we were talking about. It was named when people we're just like. I wonder what that is, they were being attacked by stars following the falling out of the sky, is also part of the Bible in in revelations where to
one of the signs of the end of times is the stars: fall from the sky and land on earth. So, first time people noticed, I guess meteors must have been like this is the end of times, and they were like wait a second. Now it's not it's. Somebody figured out. It was not and one of the most famous ones of recent past their Russia's got, both of them happen and in two thousand thirteen, and was it February just earlier in the year who, up in the sky or at day I was a sky blast and shockwave, shattered, shattered windows and people got lacerated, but from the from the really good at sixteen hundred people. I call it that the bandaid, because no one died, but what an awesome shot across about that is right. I mean people gullet rusty. What's up, What is the plan, so that happened near the town of Chechnya, banks in the urals of the western edge of Siberia and one back in nineteen O. Eight hundred and eight that's a real famous
Another air blast, women incinerated, ten thousand square, kilometers of forest, the air blast and the energy from it did that. Why aren't we weapon icing this and so that area, the ten thousand square kilometers that got destroyed by the tongue, Esker blast somewhat they size of the San Francisco Bay Area, and so that that's bad, I mean if, if, if you can a sinner treason and Siberia, then we're all at risk right right. Yes, then, it also probably heard a city if those things had better aim. Hats this. What what what would happen if we, if there is an even more vengeful God, and so what do you do with these new blow up to deflect them and they re route them yet yet watchword with deflecting would be, is a re routing? Essentially, I guess I think of deflecting as
from earth and re routing is like I hate back. I ok, won't that there be in space is tantamount to the same thing of it, and so so one interesting question is: if you go to deflected suppose you fail be it's gonna hit like the United States, let's say, and then we're gonna be deflected, and then it doesnt deflect completely right, then a hidden like Ottawa. Well. That's not good! Either so, let's find out what kind of thinking rusty has already done on this subject check it out in order to eliminate the risk to everyone there, our nations, who will have to accept a temporary, an increase in their risk in to enable that elimination of the risk for everyone. You can avoid that when you deflected Astro, you shift the risk file from where I was going to impact of cross. A bunch of countries way to getting that impact point entirely off the earth in that direction or
The only other merit and therefore you ve got this geopolitical binary decision to make. Do we make it pass in front of the earth or do we make a past behind it Have NASA and I'm the big man on campus, because I got all the rocket engines and I'm gonna push it so that it doesn't hit the United States. Maybe how are you gonna tell me to not do that? Well by having this a collective decision of the international community- and we, dont know again: we do not have the answers, it's not as if the air Sea and taking the city it has had the answers. We have the questions that they ve got to face. And we're rubbing in their nose, and they might not have thought about because they re about work days are not have thought about it, and what we're doing is clear: Fine, the nature of the decision that somebody is I have to make and because it in our nations across the whole planet. It's got to be the collection, the international collection of nations now
how you do that? You ve only hit one problem: who does it if I'm sorry. The line goes across Russia in the other end of the line goes across the United States, which way do you push it when you got the US in a rush as the big dogs right? it's gotta, be a collective decision and you base that lets say a possible criteria. Which was identified anyone think of one other than that is our rockets. No, no! No! No! You well cost. We could be there cheap to move one direction very Spencer to move in the other. It could be that it takes less time move it across all one way or the other way it could be created. The country's my enemy. It could be that the pop known because we're all we have to make this collectively, so there aren't enemies. Ok, we're altogether together, saying how nice too few to think that we are. We really are the other one is integral
the population on the red line, one way and integrate the population in the red line, the other way innovative mathematically not yet integrate mathematically, Russia, integrated population. Normally that doesn't mean proof, not mathematics, account add up. You saved me some add up six people right, ok, that there are some impact that doesn't interests. I wouldn't that's so obvious, and I'm embarrassed- I didn't think or maybe a soda, maybe sought to integrate and other costs. Maybe it's big sitting alone is short leg and no cities along the big no longer, even though the total number is great, so they're all different kinds of crime this is what I refer to as the meat which has to be on the bones of skeleton that we have created in the United Nations, now, let's Carnivora write to her, he's talking about hanging meat, so he wants to these as integrate. He doesn't mean like the people from once that equal to a place of another
inmate with other people. No, no! That's not what he's talking about means. What does he mean exactly calculus if you want to add up a the behavior, if you want to add up the value of a of a curved line of a function over some parameter? integrate over that parameter and so he's being calculus fluent in a conversation that I was having with him nice, I'm glad that he knows calculus about em, so so be six twelve. Now, that's not what so much what they go under their under the name, the Sentinel mission, the priorities are changed over the over the years because yeah we wanted deflected, but that's it a lot of money right now, let's at least catalogue, everything that could do damage in we didn't have really good way, to do that, and now they have a list of it's it's a list in progress here.
No not a fight. I understand that is not complete, but meaning there collecting a list of potential dangers. Yes, so the trying to collect data on discovering catalogue, at least ninety percent of the asteroids larger than about a hundred and forty metres and by the Ashworth, normally hang out between Mars and Jupiter, whom this the asteroid belt you got. Some of them are rogue and they cross earth orbit. So those are the near earth objects and that's a separate cats sub category strike that this is designed to at least try to find. Then, when you haven't headed our way directly, and you can confirm that that I think that motivates devil motivate yes! Well, I mean the Russia One was was: was that was pretty terrifying, yeah yeah yeah. I saw the footage on that and it has great so now you can ask speaking a terrifying it as yet, and what how much power
Are they that some of these have the collision energy of a thousand nuclear weapons of such as what was dropped on Hiroshima? So you might ask you, have the power to deflect to deflected to save us yet, do you have the diabolical power to deflect it and destroy on purpose? yeah yeah so that we do tat. We have, that is to say yeah. I check it out with seriousness, if you do the power to deflect an asteroid out of harm's way. It's been argued that, if your diabolical you can do the opposite, and I asked harmless asteroid and all the deflection dilemma deflection dilemma right and it was we're not by Steve Austro and Karl several areas right and it is for fairly this act and people working in your organ now it is what you call a chimera: the camera hurry to cover. It sounds like it's right, but it's not right at all and here's a reason If you want to wipe out a city, you gotta use Iraq that something like thirty two
forty metres in diameter. How often does that happen? One comes close enough to the earth that you might be able to move it Europe was every three hundred years: that's not much of a weapon it's no use, we want we'll, take it out, but let's have it for them if it doesn't have to be in the right orbit. Where that red line happens again over the enemy you have outlined than you, gotta make new enemy hit him with Iraq to the rock lines up with the country. You have to get its not do you choose your foreign policy that ability or foreign policy around Happenstance Esther, so the deflection dilemma is not a dilemma. Right is much easier to use missile exactly what we already can send a missile inner Konrad, both intercontinental ballistic missile from any between any two points on earth within forty five minutes rights- overweight, for an asteroid, what it! What are you doing right right now and I think it was an ex an exhaustive moving it
oops that engine and the paper that he was referring to those caught her by Carl Sagan came up in eighteen. Ninety, four, here. I got the title. The deflection dilemma use verses, misuse of technologies for avoiding interplanetary collision has What was it is called, I'm very paranoid. That's the subtitle Oh, I don't I'm very paranoid and forget about regular. My sense, of course, asteroids have plenty of other uses. Imagine the mining and right that, because we can go and get out, go get over it. All that was gonna fight you for it right. But if you go that serve, you get go far enough. The asteroid Arians, and others that you can get? Can you mine and bring back to Arthur's their virtually nothing? That's worth yet. So that's a great question so to move things around the in space needs, but is much cheaper. The bringing back down to earth Right- and so it might be that when you mine, you're doing it for other,
given that you would be conducting in space. Oh right, when you wouldn't be getting other platinum, bring here, you'd, be getting it to build the platinum bridge to them somewhere. Just as an example of a thing, you might try to do it, but one with interstate number. That would be where we come back. Let's find out how much this condemnation, but actually cost, because that has to matter at some point on start off. Hey I've got news for you, I'm gonna considers singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one and where to get out of hearing there, go to patriarch arms last star, talk and support. Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen? The star talk ad free you can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never
we're here? Another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying Welcome back to start talking with what you D, murmured hello! We ve been talking about protecting earth from asteroids by the way asteroids got the dinosaurs and allowed us to rise up and become Sunday more ambitious. Maybe there be some sort of human slash dinosaur that would rise once we were well. That's all I'm saying so so asteroids they can be bad for you if you're alive at the time good for you. If you survive it, and then you have more biologically ambitious price, We see the MIT Come wing so
I get to get ahead on this we're featuring my interview with NASA Apollo nine astronaut harassed schwaiger. What I'll do what I had to find out? I had something of it, but I needed to know what would a mission to deflect an asteroid actually cost, and he has founder of the Basics Hall Foundation and the animal mid I am which are what are really wanted to just put a little prince on its excellent service. Let's see what he says about the cost an actual deflection mission, you're, probably talking a billion dollars, a total sum five hundred earlier today in dollars? Let's well under our funding radar, we can write a czech tomorrow for the well an impact. Even a relatively small one would cost you prefer a hundred billion dollars, at least, for example, hypothesis,
which is two hundred metres, which is a medium sized asteroid. There was a cost model made for an impact, and that was came out to be about four hundred billion dollars is ocean. Act with salami taking on the West Coast. That's right. It was a big cities and unless cousin expensive homes and what's that four hundred billion, what are they a total damage profile, Annette almost sure whether hits in the ocean where the hits on land It's not yet landed additive, but not notion is also bad, thereby, but that's a magnitude of letting something here of that size compared with a billion dollars to prevent it. So it's no brainer. So it's a no brainer yeah, I mean a billion dollars. Yet we test that in Washington suffer yeah, though, though it's funny they like there'd, be like well. It's gonna hit this town in its like one billion, the town
but the problem is it it? Yes, it's not just the thing that hits a thing yeah, it's a thing that it's a thing and creates. Havoc. It writes a huge ray is re already actual impact point did have, but they almost all you're or there be or no they they wouldn't. I guess they could be like Russia, so Russell stopping the one that Russia wouldn't have been worth it. What that is that we too easy now built like eight people me, I'm just saying: if you hit a thing, you'll destroy the thing, but you also destroy he had areas.
Rounding right right. If it is the only little point of joy and the land, I mean it, doesn't it either? There's gonna have devastating effects for far beyond this year by the gets to show that it has the crater. Yes, yes- and this is one of the great revelations of computer simulations, of the consequences of impact on global climate on our our transportation chains. Are our communication outlet so basically completely disrupt civilization right? and Prevention asteroid office. That's his official name is nine. Nine. Nine four to a pompous named after the egyptian God of death and darkness seems very than those only medium sized yeah. So it's about the site, of a stadium, ok and egg, and I a professional football stadium and or Rock stadium. I'd like that, you ve decided what happens if it's ok,
it was built for Iraq concerts. So I think I'm legitimate in that in that claim the right, but that one is the way we have on that one, because that's gonna, make a close approach on April thirteenth in the year twenty twenty nine a while until we have like, I think that we might try to deflect, while if you had any testing of your apparatus, that would be a way to do it because it's a its is. We know it's not gonna hit, so you can see pocket and see what happens and play when an excellently Ternata hit. You would hope not, but that April thirteen o day that we get it. Guessing its afraid of rotten again you're smart guy, I'm one of the best guess the matters we have in America, so that would be a way that would be a valuable testing ground. You have two for any idea and give us enough time again has rather it's gonna buy, brought the right amount of times that of fifteen years away, yet
Sir. I get built by that point and I don't know anything about engineering. So, let's find out Rusty's thought about the difference between hitting the ocean and hitting land, and yet out of the box you might think hitting the ocean is worse because it sends a shockwave throughout the ocean. He have salami every place. The touches the ocean, I'm gonna, wait to hear what rusty things before I decide which I think is worth the wealthy, let's find out where he takes us. What's worse, hitting the ocean are hitting land dependent I asked the asteroid. If it's a big asteroid, which an obvious gonna arbitrarily say, let's say over two hundred and fifty meters and Diana sunlight, a two hundred to an office would come off. Can't right, let's worsening in the ocean and energy that's interesting. It's interesting scientific reason, because if you think of something like an air burst, the energy with distance goes out as the inverse few of the radius or the distance in water, which is two dimensional it goes down with the inverse square
So the energy, that's the point, in the water ends up going much further before it dies. Ok, amber tumors, because an air burst the energy is diluting into a spherical volume right, whereas basically the ocean lying flat and horizontal rice would only goes into to demand and energy transfer into the waters quite efficient. So you got basically, the same amount of energy to radiate, and why you end up with over the horizon, problems not interested, yeah. This dismisses way more complicated than you think right. So it's if it's very big, utters worse if it's a little small areas were yet airs better and we were told him. I was sorry younger cod, like from the
The view of the asteroid normally make things very member humanity. Yes, so so here's what interesting to me movies that do it right typically show asteroids hitting the ocean, because you know more than be nearly three quarters of the earth's surface is ocean right and so the movie. Deep impact just added at the ocean. They still wanted to destroy New York, but you got to do with a tidal wave of the tsunami wave and so but movies like arm again. Where will they sent minor and then they song, it's just different things like ours, was his daughter is in the movie. There were only number one involving it looked. I was the is like are valid for that movie. Really listeners of our talk so so there's an interesting. A cross pollination in the research that one would do with the consequences of an asteroid hit, depositing energy
Into the world burning things and climate change as a general exercise and if something happens in one place on earth, what effect does it have elsewhere? Yeah? So it say it's a fascinating challenge and it has a lot of the same problems with making accurate predictions going forward. What are your models? Tell you re orbit, you're gonna have to crash them asteroids into a few cities, just the kind of get every alighted ideas to ride out of the US itself, in that it we better if it hit the land that if in the ocean ocean. So all of these population are aware that we deflected do, and we can. We deflected away from our theory that ideally, but it might be too late that you can't kill me but you can put it to another spot right right on earth. So so I talked to rusty about increasing the bridges over the accuracy, not least prediction, so we can actually have an actionable statement.
On which to base our behaviour. Let's check it out, you may have to launch four or five deflection missions only to find when you get up there. They is hid anyway. It because, when you get there, then you get a really accurate trajectory on that score. We really need is some way to put low jack on each of these asteroids. So I can report back to us where exactly it is space yeah well, let me get the numbers here now: you're Talkin, a million s put illogical. Fly million missions to these things. Just to put that right now, none of your wait until it's at work from ground indicates that it is a potential threat, then you said, an observer mission to get the Assad. I guess so it it's a trends sponsor, I guess the which and broadcast where it is and then we can know with high accuracy, and then we don't have these uncertain paths where might hit earth that
shrinks down. That worries are more right, get something on the order of fifty times better accuracy you reduce the uncertainty in your knowledge that you get some ground based telescopes by about a factor of fifty go, that's important! It's because it makes a difference between is it going to hit or not. It may still be several hundred or even thousand kilometers uncertainty, but on easier, if you're, evacuating towns and townships that help oh yeah, knowing nowadays you see Hurricane maps where they show right the past we'll pay working maps are great big learning how to read those now people understand, as a probability may go. This way may go that way, and then they changed the coloring as use come airline and, from day to day, there's more data and change a little bit, so people are gradually with national, whether system getting too
stand. We don't know these things. I can't know these things for sure and if our work much better in space, because you're doing basically with gravity it's pure, It's not the chaos of the recital in the ocean, and yet so so these these are complex. Yet issues that, like we're glad people in charge, Have their own organisation, like a bunch of Esther astronauts, were like wait, a second this bad? I must also be glad he knows. Calculus go back to a point on it now, just to quantify some of this, the the the explosion over Cerulia beings. That was an asteroid about seventeen me. There's across stony made of stone that there are several kinds of asteroid letters. The differing while others are really metallic. So I get asteroids typically from a planet that never fully
formed, and then it gets a so and then there's such activity out there it s getting shattered, but while the planet is trying to form it cynical a liquid state, an hour, fluid state and when you're in that state, the heavy things fall to the middle of the light things flow to the top. So then, when it begins to harden you have a centre with a ready, filtered supply of heavy elements like platinum in Iraq. Go home, and I are the metallic asteroids particularly more danger as well, because they will completely come through. The atmosphere is hard to bust them apart just colliding with us. So so the different kinds of asteroids are out there and it makes for fascinating, different uncertainties, so little kind of damage. It would make right, so the scariest form of of asteroid would be in the core of an unformed planet. Yes, that one is just get the hell out of the way we would try to Vancouver
Superman, would have the earth out of the way so something bad man could not conceive of doing also Superman or Archimedes yet either one of them number one. We have access archimedean about my favorite record of is what does he say as you can? the earth out of the way of a moving us right now he would have said the differently. He would accept the law court him directly, give me a place to stand and I can move the world. You want people like that around yet of situations such as this, yet so archimedes with bad ass. Just so you know, I do not think he wanted. It was the bat then of the old days, exactly at so in that in that meteor, that fellow rich I beings, they, they calculate how much energy that was, and it was about twenty times the energy of the bomb, overhear shimmer, and so here's the difference of Korea that bomb over here she might kill. You know fifty thousand people, twenty thousand people
right and later from radiation sickness, and so so how come nobody died in Chechnya makes name also my ass. Yet I so I am asking arts like the one in in China based exploded, twenty miles above the surface. When you go and forty thousand miles an hour, however thin earth's atmosphere, is it that altitude, it's as though its hitting a brick wall, so it the explosion, is the abrupt encounter with her atmosphere, causing an air blast. So now, all that dilutes into a twenty mile radius sphere before it hits the ground, and so the shockwave was still significant, but wasn't so bad that everyone died. It was hot, how many miles again twenty twenty miles out of it, but in Arusha,
far was that half a mile up yet very were also trying to hurt them. You act! Well, that's how woods calculated. It was a accidently detonated that high up right kind of calculating you do in warfare. You know I didn't want to drop to low exploded to local than half the energy would just go and make a crater yeah too high. Dilute yeah. There's the optimum against a military calculation yea done it with the cold dispassionate. Where did they do? Is you know? War is whether the way war is war with industrialized nations, and so you, You calculate that an you figure, the max damage to people and get things would happen about a half a mile up, and so that's what they did to my point has asteroids and find that out and so that the metallic asteroid we get deeper in the atmosphere impasse.
Leaving collide right. So so it's we want. Another lighting be worse than exploding half mile up. Yes, it would yes, yes, but the metal hold yourself together, so well. It'll generally will survive so so the biggest surviving meteors on earth or metal but the secular, but when we come back a two of them interview with Rusty Schwaiger, it you we're gonna find the trip a little away and bring it like. I have one of the two little of it. It's in the media or it's me meteorites. Yet so you do, we got it. We got a wrap up. The secular, but when we come back a more of my interview with Rusty Schwaiger it and we're gonna, find out how do we treat asteroid impacts like any other large national natural disaster? What's in thinking on that, because clearly we ve have thought about other natural disasters. Have Who would asteroid strike be from.
This star talk. Welcome back, I'm if my co host the Eugene Merman and we ve been featuring my interview with former NASA astronaut APOLLO astronaut, that is rusty, schwaiger and CO, founder of the Bee six twelve foundation and what they now call themselves the Sentinel mission and is very Google. But anyway, if you wanna go on ethics and they can totally look up and verify that so that so the asteroid, I will think enough. People are thinking about asteroids. Well, how close? How close are some of the near misses like how close are some of the ones that have almost? Let's just put some numbers on this we get
A team of researchers got the so consider that less than one percent of the million asteroids larger than forty metres have been identified. They myself forty metres ass, nothing except that's, not what matters the size is not so much. What matters is how much energy doesn't carry that energy can generally energy of motion once the asteroid hits and is no longer moving where's. The energy go echoes that exploit its blow as yet goes in destabilize the object it explodes it burns forest it makes a crater, kills people Knox over buildings. So all this is going on in an asteroid, and so the small you get. The small is your threshold of wanting to track the fewer the lower percentage of the total. We ve actually recovered right. What that's out there and so another problem is, you can find an asteroid when it gets close in just Missus S, but then, if you want to keep tracking it gets farther away from us and then it so
We can't track it and you have to hope you find it on its next time around. Is it orbiting? There are everybody's orbiting, some ok, everybody even an asteroid that might hit us even an extra. The crosses earth orbit is orbiting the sun. Ok, that's right and of course, most of them cross our orbit when we're not fair right when we're not looking women unreservedly, when the earth is a better when you cross the street trucks have been on that street, but they're not hitting you because you're crossing them at a different. I am not, even though you are in the same light, really planned. You'd streak rising quite well and advice. Don't have that level of play exactly, and so you can end up just gettin posed by them and so just and just something to keep in mind and so the near once so we have a list of the ones that come near by the way, there's upwards over half a dozen asteroids that we're tracking that com within a few earthmen distances, oh but meaning. So how far as them, where we call those close closer,
a man is a quarter quarter million miles away. Ok, but that's that's not how you should think about it. Think about as remember the schoolroom globe yet yet emulate so it may be put across ideas. So ask yourself: if that is the actual earth in your hands and the moon is actually a fist which is about the right size, Russia, we would. You have to put the moon. To be the right distance from earth seven miles away. I don't know I'm making up and about thirty feet away. That's when I lost my really making it did not right next to it as a school books practically show they had to fitted on page thirty feet away. So if an ashtray content is twice the moon, distance or forty, I dont know sixty feet eighty feet under the I don't to me. Those are not buzz. Cuts review come within our what's clean them. Moon, Sis, lunar space, that's the official mother! That's what the military calls the new high ground. Basically, then yeah! That's what I'm so often is that happen that sends much scary. You get that
be a few times a year, oh really I and, and that the latest numbers, but last I checked was a few times a year and a pompous on Friday, the thirteenth into your twenty twenty nine will come so close that it will dipped below our communication. Satellites, here's a globally the viewer steadily. The first are too costly, sober fifty times off our measurements potentially or that, if like, if we went into space, we'd be fifty two ever and butter You know tagged it. We would be fifty times more accurate o easily. So aren't we potentially super inaccurate about where this asteroid yet? But for us the good thing about it is that we can quantify that ignorance. That would add something we need to find You do? Is you just have a wider uncertainty path? Then you must allow confront, goes
it's like a hurricane Riga leg it'll be in this range, but you know it's not actually. Gonna, go to friend at an updated, exactly soccer, make a bank a turn and go to the Bahamas right right if it's going, if its landfill right so so. This is how you would do that and so the what's, our purpose is gonna come within our communication satellites. Those are twenty three thousand miles up to me. That's frightened that Della disrupt our texting, land, swiping right and left- I don't I don't member, if its metallic or not, but not likely, ok, we'll make everyone's we might find out of its very elegant was sound a lot worse. That would be funny if everything related ones swipe right and as that would be by accident and created hundreds of marriages, the asteroid marriages cute. Yes, so I you know We have had to deal with natural disasters in the history of the world and I wondered how different would this be from those and I checked
Russia so says so. Question for disaster that struck over Russia thousand people needed Bandy Jeff fifty eight hundred year, the glass broken their face. Why is there any different from the heart or volcano people, get injured? We don't go back crane Moreover, we do, but not in some kind of so what eyes away, as you are suggesting to deflect asteroids and the future, why not view the account? asteroids strike as another natural disaster and we who are set up by the good stuff get over while the reality is, we are going to do that for the ones that are too small for us really to detect ahead of time and Chelyabinsk. Objects with such was just such an hour Yeah we're just such an act were never really going to be. We will find some other noted make no notice it will fight, but we're never gonna get anywhere near the total population of objects at sites work,
ninety nine percent of the time that we get hit by something that's, let's see thirty metres or smaller. We're not gonna, know about it ahead of time, but above that, where you can do serious damage like wipe out a city, we can know about those ahead of time. We can predict an impact coming and weakened deflect if we know about it early and so in this enterprise they're, the ones you know we can deflect the ones are too small, you can't see those come. The category of all the other natural disasters you just have to any disaster recovery in the lower part. The lower region of the ones that you can find, but are going to cost too much to deflect, going to you, because so many of them is small. Yes, because it's so small, it is cheaper to evacuate the impact is on. It is to try and flex its probably.
Purely economic you're, going to have real GEO political components to that decision but in the work we have done with the U N, we have identified that this threshold or this break. This line has to be defined. By the nations of the world is gonna be defined geopolitical. It's not. It is a technical decision, yet mean where he talk the more, I thought we were just screwed Bickersdyke about too much is too much. In fact, there too many factors, it's not just bad thing out of the sky, Basically, the little ones are like just like a regular natural disasters with the big ones could destroy mankind. Yes, yes, and so those we should really start so the one overture banks I set about seventeen meters across that one we'd we buy the time.
You know that's in our atmosphere, it's too late and there's nothing. We can do anything, you can fly into it or anything that low, yet, not because it is travelling it. So it is not only the speed is if you break a thing and to pieces now you have to evacuate two locations instead of run if their split and they keep separating and you haven't reduced energy is all about the energy rightly energies. Will there. The energy is still there, even if you break into a million pieces, the energy still there they might sport at higher up and be a little less damaging right, but nonetheless the energy gets in there's no option where you slow it down or catch it with some sort of gigantic. Unless you it yet Let's do it was something has to be holding that seat nobody gonna tat the net to rockets that are leaving her, maybe a giant sheet rockets
rapporteur, an officer parachute, so yet so these these. These are for me fascinating frontier challenges on this. So, You have an actual plant of how it be stopper. He's gonna, go? U n we're in serious danger would not cease. He's hosted conferences where they invited engineers to come up with solutions, and some people are who are the kind look. We got the nukes in the silo. Let's blow the sucker out of the sky, you don't get somebody. You got some of those people as a bad idea, right Well, it's ending. You know we're really good at below and stuff up here in the United States, but yet less good it knowing where the pieces for after you ve done so, whereas deflection mission, you can you in judge how well you're doing while the mission is in progress right, but we also abed, would it be makes sense to blow something up in space
if you can get an early enough and completely blow to smithereens, so that when it does it earlier, they just harmless. Meteors falling through the sky would be a hell of a meteor shower right, yeah leak so that might make sense, but once it, if you knew you would accomplish that. If that's what you're betting on, I don't know that. That's the right way to do it right right. It's not a great plan right am I dont recommended that isn't my recommendation. After hearing all the evidence, anyone oh, whose whose really gonna leave this. Is it rusty the other countries that there is a whole other law geopolitical layering on right, forgetting the science just whose accountable for something that could hit one country verses another. I asked Dr Rusty with China. Really left frankly, is taking responsibility.
And the question is what everything else going on. Why should I as president or congressmen or whatever, but why should I add this little? Eighty eight percent of Congress gets reelected every two years, but the fact of the matter is a public as they come to understand. It would show you other in the next once we're gonna, hit them who sands at some point I gotta, get that it's not expensive to do this, the image and everybody's head is. This has got to be terribly expensive, it's not less than one half of one percent of NASA's budget to do it up in so you're not talking displacing the whole national space, for. Why doesn't NASA have such a programme, because NASA has no responsibility for public safety NASA is to do space science at exploration, this is neither space science Norris worried what this is public safe, this naivete of the founding document
it is, and we have made recommendations to the Congress Change NASA Space ACT to make them response, for this one and only cosmic natural hazard and they have not done it, nor has any nation in the world, yet assigned this kind of explicit responsibility, and that's what's gotten. Are you not more talk him more use when a kiss, your ass good by its gets? once NASA have responsibility, if, if not more, then who have not How, then, when I don't know, I guess it would be MSNBC would be an android. They barely do any exploration, hardly exactly- and I can't think of a band that would be going, you too, maybe they would probably by the way, there's another there's another layering of challenge here that some asteroids that have less density, that we measure then
What we know is the density of the rock that it contains, and so that tells us, maybe it's a pile of rocks and when we calculate the bulk density were adding in all the space between the rocks having come out less than what we think it should be. If that's the case, how do you deflect pile of rocks. I don't know a rock eating well to say if you, if you attach a retro rocket to one of the bits of it, yet it could pull one rocks away liver oil. Not all would you maybe blow those up what one would say so that these are the challenges that confront sided deflection enjoy their rights? Not it and is: is this strong enough to move one piece of it to have all the rest of it. Follow! That's really what a comfort what it comes down to direct gravitationally. You mean what that so one of the great ones is gravitationally. That way you not tugging. I want peace, verses and other, so that is Eugene. The frontier of our species survival in this world and you're from Russia
least like hitting Siberia, so maybe Russia's very very because had fired. I probably why they get a lot like there, the ocean of land. That's a good like that analogy. So usually we got a rapid ups tribunal start out? You first scaring me about, as I feel that As stated in your personal astrophysicist. As always, at the end of these programmes, I beg you to keep looking up we should listen. Star talk, commercial, free, joint stock talk on Patria for as little as five dollars per month, and the ads will disappear, learn more at patriarch doc. Coms. Last star talk radio
Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.