November 27, 2014

Asteroid manipulation a bad idea

Posted by Eric Young
Managing Editor | editor@ogemawherald.com
989-387-9036

Posted 1/16/13

Sometimes it’s really amazing to look at technology and see the things that humans have come up with over the years. 

My wife and I have twin, 8-month-old boys, and they frequently use Facetime or Skype to video chat with their grandparents from our cell phones. They are not going to even know what the world was like when you couldn’t do that. 

Human beings are smart. We do a lot of smart things. But sometimes we’re so smart, we end up doing something really stupid. 

Last week, I read an article on The Discovery Channel’s website about a proposal to put an asteroid in orbit around the moon. 

Sounds brilliant, right? Scientists came up with this idea. Hey guys, maybe you should take a couple-hour break from your time in the lab to watch any disaster movie ever released and then tell me this is a good idea.

I realize that we put a lot of things into orbit in space that could potentially come crashing back to earth. 

But I also know that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how horrible it could be if a big rock from space crashed into the Earth. Personally, I kind of feel like we should be doing everything we can to keep asteroids away from the Earth, rather than voluntarily bringing them closer. 

According to the article, this would actually be a good project for defense against asteroid impacts, because scientists could then dissect the asteroid to learn more about it so they would know better how to defend against a larger one that may be hurtling toward Earth. 

Not only that, the article states, but it would “mark mankind’s first attempt at modifying the solar system to enable the permanent settlement of humans in space.”

Again, am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? Because we’ve done such a good job at modifying the Earth to maintain our civilizations, right? 

It kind of concerns me that there are plans to just go out and take parts of the solar system and put them where we want to put them. It certainly seems like the beginning plot for an alien invasion movie. 

I realize that someday, we’ll probably use up all the natural resources on the Earth. We’ll run out of space and if the human race wants to survive, we will probably have to go somewhere else. 

I’d just rather keep that in the far distant future, rather than voluntarily putting house-sized projectiles in orbit around the moon, or ticking off the aliens by moving their planets around.  

But then, what do I know? I'm not a scientist.

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