To GBD: Space Oddities

[Note: ‘GBD’ is how my late friend Guy Darst signed his notes. I’m continuing to send him stuff, as I explained in ‘Send to Guy’.]

 

News from the Pleiades: From the Washington Examiner, back in August. . .

8Aug18

Green Party spoiler candidate in Ohio special election claims to be descended from aliens

by Katelyn Caralle
The Green Party congressional candidate who could prove to be a spoiler in Tuesday night’s special election in Ohio claims to be descended from aliens. . .
On his Facebook profile, [Joe] Manchik said that his ancestors “originally came to planet Earth from a planet orbiting a star in the Pleiades star cluster located in the constellation of Taurus.”

What struck me was the specificity of his origin.  He didn’t, apparently (looking at his Facebook page), give the name of the planet, nor any details of how his ancestors got to Earth (and why), nor any evidence of this claim.  But here he is, and, he says,

JoeManchik

Joe Manchik, from his Facebook page

I devote much of my life to world peace. . . I have been designing and building a plan for world peace since 1953. Please follow my political campaign on Facebook and read my plan for world peace by following this link on Facebook if you would like to read about it. .

This plan, he says is to pass
some new Green legislation that will actually benefit THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, instead of the same, old legislation that only helps to increase the corporate profits of the multinational corporations that own the corrupt, corporate-capitalist and corporate owned Democratic-Republican Duopoly Oligarchy Party cabal of evil and greed and wars for oil that is driving our country off the road and deep into the ditch of fascism, oligarchy and plutocracy and onto the path to World War III.
You have to admit he has a point about the Uniparty establishment in Congress, but of course he has no inkling that President Trump may be our best antidote to the disease of corporate globalism that has been draining America of its manufacturing capacity and wealth.  And apparently his ancestors from  the planet in the Pleiades sector didn’t tell him genuine American oil might be the key to American independence.  That’s the danger of relying on little Green-Party men from the stars.

From the ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong?’ Department. . .

Scientists Map Out How to Nudge Small Asteroids into Earth’s Orbit

September 1, 2018 By News Team
The notion of an asteroid headed for Earth is typically seen as a bad omen. On the flip side, some scientists and entrepreneurs increasingly see this scenario as a potential opportunity. Deliberately redirecting asteroids to our planet’s vicinity could enable us to study them up close, or even mine them.
Given that these objects are packed with valuable resources, building a collection of them nearby could spark major advances in spaceflight, to say nothing of the scientific research that might result from easy access to these extraterrestrial bodies.
A recent paper published in Acta Astronautica suggests that asteroids could be captured in Earth’s orbit with aerobraking, a maneuver that uses atmospheric drag to decelerate and position objects in stable trajectories around a planet. Aerobraking has helped place interplanetary spacecraft in orbit around Mars and Venus, and to slow down spacecraft returning to Earth.
Led by Minghu Tan, a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, the paper immediately addresses the most obvious concern with this scenario: What if there’s some mistake in the redirect process and an asteroid accidentally impacts Earth? It’s bad enough that the dinosaurs were oblivious to their doomsday space rock, but it would be especially embarrassing if we humans smack ourselves in the face with one.
Tan and his co-authors suggest mitigating this risk by selecting asteroids under 30 meters in diameter for aerobraking, as they’d burn up in the atmosphere if the maneuver failed. Tan also told me, in an email, that a redirected asteroid might collide with spacecraft in orbit around Earth. That’s why “accurate guidance and control strategies would be required,” he said. . .
Galaxy_195211

Cover by Jack Coggins, World Editions, Inc. PD, via Wikimedia Commons

Back in 1952, Isaac Asimov published a story in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine called ‘The Martian Way’.  A growing colony has been established on Mars, but it depends on Earth for water, not only to supplement scanty water from the Martian poles (needed for mining and hydroponics, as well as domestic use), but to provide reaction mass for the Scavenger ships a corps of Martian spacemen use to recover valuable first stages of cargo ships from Earth.  On Earth a ‘Grounder’ (as the Martians call Earthmen) demagogue named Hilder is riling up the voters with anti-Mars sentiment, claiming that Earth is shipping so much water to Mars that its very oceans are endangered.  This of course is absurd, but Hilder gains power and threatens to cut off water shipments, which would destroy the Scavenger livelihoods and threaten the survival of the Mars colony itself.

The Scavenger pilots respond to this threat the ‘Martian Way’, with a daring expedition of 24 ships over a year-long journey to the rings of Saturn, which of course primarily consist of water ice.  They embed their ships in a huge, cubic-mile block, shape it into a cylinder, and using melted ice as reaction mass, return to Mars just as the Commissioner is about to sign an agreement giving up any claim to Earth’s water.  Asimov doesn’t quite explain how the Scavangers manage to land this gigantic block of ice on Mars—if he thought of just parking it in orbit, or on one of Mars’s tiny moons, he doesn’t mention it, but it makes a more dramatic ending for the Earth’s representative to see it appear out of the Martian sky:

 

The cylinder dropped toward the ground with the ponderous slowness characteristic of space vessels.  It hung suspended on those blasting jets and settled down upon the recoil of tons of matter hurling downward like a tired man dropping into his easy chair.

 

The Commissioner points out to the astonished Earthman that there’s lots more where that came from, and if Hilder’s ‘Anti-Wasters’ on Earth really are worried about losing the quintillions of tons of water in Earth’s oceans, he’d be happy to sell them some.  The Solar System is full of it.

 

Asimov was mistaken about the size of the ice blocks in Saturn’s rings—maybe a few meters at most—but the Martian Way is likely to be our way some day.  ‘Nudging’ asteroids into Earth orbit might be a bit dicey; you just know some doofus is going to forget to convert English to Metric units and drop a hot iron rock on some luckless town. But once we really get our space legs, we probably won’t need to.  We just need to outgrow our chemical-rocket propulsion.  How about the ‘Proton Micropile’, which drives Asimov’s Martian ships by heating water, just as our fission power plants do today on Navy ships—only much better?   /LEJ

 

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