On the possibility of altering the trajectories of asteroids and comets using plutonium implantation

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It is pointed out that creation of a critical assembly by implantation of Pu239 inside an asteroid or comet could produce a substantial force on the asteroid or comet due to either explosive ejection or asymmetric sublimation of material off the surface of the asteroid or comet. This would allow one to make substantial changes in an asteroid`s or comet`s orbital elements using existing launch vehicles and spacecraft technology. It is particularly intriguing that recurrent sublimation induced by plutonium implantation could over a few months time deflect even kilometer-sized earth intersecting objects enough to avoid the earth. For the more ... continued below

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9 p.

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Chapline, G. & Howard, M. July 20, 1995.

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Description

It is pointed out that creation of a critical assembly by implantation of Pu239 inside an asteroid or comet could produce a substantial force on the asteroid or comet due to either explosive ejection or asymmetric sublimation of material off the surface of the asteroid or comet. This would allow one to make substantial changes in an asteroid`s or comet`s orbital elements using existing launch vehicles and spacecraft technology. It is particularly intriguing that recurrent sublimation induced by plutonium implantation could over a few months time deflect even kilometer-sized earth intersecting objects enough to avoid the earth. For the more distant future, nuclear-powered pulse jets might be a cost-effective way of altering the trajectories of asteroids and comets.

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9 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95017873

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  • Planetary defense workshop, Livermore, CA (United States), 22-26 May 1995

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  • Other: DE95017873
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--121595
  • Report No.: CONF-9505266--3
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 113958
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc626586

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • July 20, 1995

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 17, 2016, 3:14 p.m.

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Chapline, G. & Howard, M. On the possibility of altering the trajectories of asteroids and comets using plutonium implantation, article, July 20, 1995; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626586/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.