Armageddon Assignment

How would our planet defend against a life ending asteroid without the help of Bruce Willis and his team portrayed in 1998's Armageddon? Well for one thing the Armageddon film method of planting a nuclear bomb inside the asteroid  before it hits the zero barrier is just a waste time as altering the trajectory that close to Earth would not stop a life ending impact. The greatest advantage for the human race to avoid this type of catastrophe is identifying the asteroid threat years in advance. The reason for this if for example NASA identified an asteroid threatening the human race in a decades time then just slightly changing the asteroids course over that 10 years would make a big enough difference to completely miss being in Earths line of sight.

With current technology the solution to stopping an astroid threat and succeeding relies with kinetic energy. Sending a probe out that could intercept an astroid way in advance and striking it with a kinetic impactor. This basically means hitting a planetary surface with an impact to set it off course but this would be followed up with a satellite with a ionic beam to then pull the astroid on a new course. Currently this impactor could launch ordinance at 3.7 miles per second and could be successful with astroids only a few hundred feet in size. However as of right now astroids that can cause global destruction that are at least half a mile in size the technology has not been built to where a impactor could successfully knock these world enders of course.

For the kinetic impactor to work on larger scale astroids I believe two improvements need to be made particularly improving the impactors launch speed, as much as 3.7 miles per second is impressive we need to increase this 5 fold to 18.5 miles per second to be effective against the smallest of astroids that could potentially destroy the Earth. I drew this conclusion from rationally accessing that 3.7 mps can displace an astroid of 500ft. off course then to knock off an astroid that could destroy the world which at a minimum is half a mile in size which is roughly around 2,500 ft. then the kinetic impactor needs to increase its speed 5 times of its current capacity. Secondly the ionic beam would also have to have a greater gravitational pull to handle larger astroids. For these adjustments to be meet for future defense against space the only hope is the human race has enough time to make further breakthroughs in planetary defense technology before its too late.


  1. It's clear you've done some research and you included some numbers to back up your claims, both of which are good. You still didn't quite demonstrate that your plan is sufficient, but you made arguments to support that claim. I will point out, though, that things are worse than you guessed. An asteroid that is 5 times bigger across would actually be 125 times harder to deflect. That's because mass is proportional to volume, or length cubed. So, an asteroid that's only a little bit bigger would be a lot harder to deflect.


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