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NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

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Perhaps...

it would be better to chuck Bruce. After all we have a planet to save.

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Joke

Re: Perhaps...

The fridge is just for testing purposes. We keep Bruce around for when the real deal comes along.

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Trollface

Re: Perhaps...

Better to Chuck Norris, Shirley?

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Re: Perhaps...

I read the article hoping to see that they were going to use that fridge for something really important, like keeping their beer cool ... but no :-(

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Re: Perhaps...

Ahaha, you've made my day.

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Joke

Re: Perhaps...

"The fridge is just for testing purposes."

Don't worry, Indianna Jones is hiding in the fridge and he always wins too,

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Re: Perhaps...

If the fridge doesn't work, I have a heavy old washing machine they are welcome to have a go with.

They'll need a Tranny and a couple of hefty blokes to collect it though.

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Re: Perhaps...

We should be eco friendly and send Schwartzenneger.

He always says he'll be back.

And don't call me Shirley.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps...

I know a few Trannys that are heft blokes.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps...

"They'll need a Tranny and a couple of hefty blokes"

They should come round mine on cabaret night, then.

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Time to go PaddyPower

Bets on:

1. The "asteroid" will fire thrusters and get out of the way

2. The CIWS will obliterate the "refridgerator" long before it gets anywhere near.

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Re: Time to go PaddyPower

3. The CIWS, having been installed at considerable expense to the British taxpayer, will make an elaborate show of targeting the refrigerator but fail to actually stop it. Ministers will hail it as demonstrating "global reach".

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Mushroom

Re: Time to go PaddyPower

4. The fridge hits, but at the wrong angle, turning the asteroid TOWARDS Earth.

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Re: Time to go PaddyPower

5. Fridge hits, but passes through the asteroid since it's one of those rocks made up of pebbles

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Time to go PaddyPower

6. The fridge being a fridge is unaware of it's predicament however someone has put soya milk in it and as such it avoids the asteroid as it's a peace loving hippy fridge.

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Trollface

Re: Time to go PaddyPower

7. The fridge, being an intelligent IoT device, will notice that it needs to stock up on fresh milk, but since there is no Wifi connection in the asteroid belt it will fail to connect to Walmart and subsequently the control system crashes with an unexpected error. The thrusters therefore fail to fire, and the fridge crashes back to Earth.

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Re: Time to go PaddyPower

8. The asteroid bats the fridge back and takes out Houston.

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Re: Time to go PaddyPower

9. Tony Hawks (no not the skateboard dude) sues NASA as he has all the media rights for Around the Universe with a Fridge.

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Re: Time to go PaddyPower

10. The fridge, having been reincarnated from a bowl of petunias thinks to itself, "Oh no, not again!"

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Coat

Re: Time to go PaddyPower

before wondering why there is a sperm whale falling beside it....

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Program scientist Tom Statler says the experiment won't “change the orbit of the pair around the sun”.

This makes no sense to me. If they change the movement of the smallest asteroid, without changing that of the biggest one, then surely they are changing the total movement of the pair.

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Damn right it does - DART brings to the binary additional momentum and angular momentum so the system total changes and consequently its orbit around the sun changes! Maybe not by a lot but it is still a change. So either Tom Statler was misquoted or the word "significantly" was dropped.

I don't believe that a scientist can make such a high school physics mistake

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Conservation of energy & momentum. Right. It will change the orbit of the pair. What the scientist probably tried to explain was that this test won't “change the orbit of the pair around the sun” by a measurable amount.

This statement is probably just meant to reassure all that this test will not drop a stone on anyone's head.

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Ok.. so this "test" changes it's orbit and not for the good.... The next time it comes around, NASA will have the real thing fired at it. Hopefully with the orbital mechanics sorted out...

I do wonder why no one asked Mr. Statler the obvious question in response to his answer: "Would you stake your life on that statement?".

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If you're going to be really pedantic, then just walking across the room will alter the shape of the Earth's gravitational field, which will alter the motion of everything in the solar system.

Not by a measurable amount though, and certainly less than the change in the course of the asteroid(s) caused by the high powered radar they're presumably going to shine at it to pin down it's position (which in itself probably won't make a measurable difference).

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Re: Would you stake your life on that statement?

Yes.

To estimate the effect: Imagine firing a shell against a 2km high mountain for comparison.

This kind of test will change the combined orbit o the binary maybe by a few dozen meters. Given the average distance to earth is a few 100 million km and the way orbital mechanics work, the chance of impact is changed from zero to zero.

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The smaller one is small enough for us to notice the hit. The larger one is large enough that the hit makes no measurable difference to the pair.

...I'm guessing.

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Trollface

"I do wonder why no one asked Mr. Statler the obvious question in response to his answer: "Would you stake your life on that statement?"."

The obvious answer is to paraphrase Homer Simpsons on this:

"I am 100% absolutely certain that this is what will happen. If I'm wrong may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow."

(According to Wiki - Simpsons Season 6, Episode 14, "Bart's comet - ~1995)

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Mushroom

"Would you stake your life on that statement?"

It could be argued that he already is. Unfortunately, he's also staking everyone else's lives on it too!

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Not much point in doing the experiment if the results are not measurable.

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Coffee/keyboard

Orbital changes

> "I don't believe that a scientist can make such a high school physics mistake"

Perhaps he's a Trump appointee?

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Go

As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

provided it is an IoT fridge. Those things are an expensive menace anyway.

(Even better if NASA stocks it with light beer beforehand. That stuff is only useful as payload.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

Oh my gaaaawd, you found a use for Bud Light!

(although for thus purpose it ought to be Bud Heavy)

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Silver badge

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

provided it is an IoT fridge. Those things are an expensive menace anyway.

They should send the fridge that Indiana Jones used to survive a nuclear blast. That thing is as hard as rocks.

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Stop

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

@Rish 11 - "They should send the fridge that Indiana Jones used to survive a nuclear blast."

I do not remember that from any of the 3 Indiana Jones films.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

IoT fridge.

Can you ddos an asteroid?

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Silver badge

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

Indy Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Poor movie, not up to the usual Indy standards.

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Alert

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

"Indy Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

That's just internet rumor. It's not actually an Indiana Jones movie. Doesn't exist! There are only 3! Indy movies.

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Happy

Re: Can you ddos an asteroid?

Well, technically that would be a simple DOS ( or DOO - denial of orbit) . A DDOS would require a lot of IoT fridges ...

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Re: I do not remember that from any of the 3 Indiana Jones films

Obligatory XKCD : https://xkcd.com/566/

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Joke

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

It's only a payload if someone is paying for it to be loaded and transported. Perhaps we can round up a few bucks, squid, shekels, euros get any quantity of Bud anything, off the market.

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Re: Can you ddos an asteroid?

"A DDOS would require a lot of IoT fridges ..."

I'd be happy with that solution too.

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Re: I do not remember that from any of the 3 Indiana Jones films

There are only three Indiana Jones movies. Period.

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Headmaster

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

"There are only 3! Indy movies"

<pedant>

So that's 6 Indy films then; what are the final two?

(3! = 3 x 2 x 1 = 6)

</pedant>

:)

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Thumb Up

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

@Don Dumb If I could up-vote you more I would!

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Anonymous Coward

Kindly alter the trajectory so it'll come flaming down on top of Nkandla, kthanxbai.

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Mushroom

Nkandla

And what if the Zuptas aren't home? Rock wasted. Taxpayer-funded chicken coop binne in sy moer in*.

* = "Broken".

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Re: Nkandla

> binne in sy moer in

Donner, that takes me back a bit....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nkandla

Die regte term is "in sy moer in"

But yes, they'll have to arrange for Zupta and Co to be present at Nkandla when the rock comes crashing down.

And to satisfy PETA, the chicken coop (and cattle kraal) be relocated to a safe location prior to impact.

Fire pool can remain, it'll just add a lot of steam to the inferno.

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Coat

I'm not entirely sure that they Oort to do this. I mean if you piss off the baby asteroids then their larger siblings and otherwise related seriously large lumps of rock and ice might come looking for you!

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