Posts Tagged ‘impact’

Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards – John S. Lewis

March 17, 2013

Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth: Computer Modeling by John S. Lewis

This trade paperback was issued for those wanting to run computers simulations of impact frequencies and effects on Earth, encouraging them to modify Dr. Lewis’ program or to write their own. The heart of this 146 page technical monograph is the fifty-five pages of Chapters 2 through 5:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Impact Flux
  3. The Impactor
  4. The Impact Process
  5. The Target (emphasis mine)

Also, ponder his succinct and compelling conclusion:“Of all the natural hazards facing Earth, impacts are the most dangerous. Unlike native hazards of Earth’s surface, impacts know no size limit. Their effects can be devastating over the entire surface area of our planet. They are the only natural credible threat to human civilization. …” p.146.

200 pages, Academic Press, 2000, List price U$90, U$78 at Amazon.
Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth: Computer Modeling by John S. Lewis

 

Rain of Iron and Ice – John S. Lewis

March 12, 2013

Rain of Iron and Ice by John S. Lewis is the first of four books written and/or edited by him about asteroids and comets – how to avoid their kinetic energy and extract their minerals. They have now become reference texts for anyone wanting to become an asteroid miner. At his website, Dr. Lewis announced in Feb 2013 that he is now Chief Scientist for Deep Space Industries (DSI), the second asteroid mining company formed in 2012.

Rain’s subtitle is “The Very Real Threat of Comet and Asteroid Bombardment.”  It has 15 thorough and detailed chapters about these celestial objects, and their specific encounters with Earth.  One of the most terrifying eyewitness arrivals was described in Dr. Lewis’s page one reconstruction of a bolide over the capital of an empire. “Occupants of offices and apartments rushed to their windows, searching the sky for the source of the brilliant flare … For a dozen heartbeats, the city was awestruck, numbed, and silent. Then, without warning, a tremendous blast smote the city, knocking pedestrians to the ground. Shuttered doors and windows blew out … ”  – Constantinople, 472 CE.

240 pages. Helix Books, Rain Of Iron And Ice, U$16, paperback at Amazon.

Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids – Belton et al

February 24, 2013

My next suggestion for your local college library donation to help as reference material or textbooks for Chelyabinsk-inspired students is Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids by Belton et al. This 17-chapter technical book’s papers concentrate on the physics and engineering of how to prevent impacts, rather then on impact effects.

For instance, the papers I intend to read or reread first are: Chapter 2 – Earth impactors: orbital characteristics and warning times, Chesley & Spahr; Chapter 6 – About deflecting asteroids and comets, Holsapple; Chapter 9 – Mitigation technolgies and their requirements, Gritzner & Kahle;  and Chapter 13 – Optimal interception and deflection of Earth-approaching asteroids using low-thrust electric propulsion, Scheeres.

And this is where having an existing space construction infrastructure would come in, as Chris Lewicki, Chief Asteroid Miner at Planetary Resources, and David Gump, CEO at Deep Space Industries, have pointed out in numerous interviews. With multiple copies of various modules – hab, lab, propulsion, storage/shielding (water), etc – in use, and with the ability to rapidly print more modules from asteroid metals and lunar titanium, we will have more options for deflection. For example, fuel depots, using icesteroids and lunar-pole ice as storage sources, will give between one to two orders of magnitude more immediately available velocity change (fuel). But this would take a minimum of 20 to 40 years to create.

The amazon link to the 2011 paperback reissue of the 2004 Cambridge University Press hardback (436 pages, U$58 for the paperback, U$185 for the hardback):
Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids by Belton et al.


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