The Great Ongoing Space Exploration Thread

There should be a space record set on the 9th of next month. That is, the most people in space at one time. However, it’ll only last for a very short time and they won’t all be in orbit.

The current record is 14, set during the Shuttle days and tied earlier this year. (I believe I posted about it in this thread, but am too lazy to hunt that post down.) Currently, there are 7 crew on ISS and 3 on the Chinese station. AFAICT, none of them are scheduled to return in the next couple weeks. On Dec 9th, Blue Origin will make another launch of New Shepard, this time with 6 people on it, bringing the total in space at one time to 16. Of course New Shepard is above the Karman Line for only about a minute, so this a very fleeting record.

There will be four paying passengers and two guests on the coming launch. One of the guests is Alan Shepard’s daughter and the other is some TV host, but since I don’t watch TV anymore (and never watched Good Morning, America), his name means nothing to me.

Didn’t Alan Shephard testify to congress once that women should not be astronauts? If so (my GoogleFu is letting me down), good on her for sticking one to her dad.

Coming back to this.

It seems as though this would be a useful technology to divert asteroids. Put one of these on the asteroid (or several), and just fling gravel and rock off at high speeds in the appropriate direction to impart the momentum you want.

Not sure exactly how viable that would be, but it seems more viable than trying to use chemical rockets or a nuclear bomb.

Ha ! That’s what i thought, except i envisaged putting one on the moon and flinging
rocks up into space, then gathering them together and pushing them into the asteroid.

I don’t think so. First, it would be really difficult to mount this on an asteroid - especially the ones that are essentially giant collections of gravel and rocks. Second, you’d have to prevent it from accelerating away from the asteroid when it throws mass. You’d also have to enclose the material in some king of casing. And you’d probably need a nuclear power plant to power it.

Building and installing such a device would also take a long time - time we likely wouldn’t have.

Burying a shaped-charge nuke and directionally blasting thiusands of tons at once in one general direction would seem to me to be much more efficient. And if you are gojng to have a nuclear plant there, you could also just continually vaporize the surface with a big-ass laser, using the vaporized particles as reaction mass.