Jan 22, 17 04:47 UTC

Nuclear weapons and Asgardia  

As you may know, Asgardia is planning to have nuclear weapons to protect Earth our mother planet from asteroids impact and cataclysms...

Let's first evaluate the statistic risk of this event, and the Pertinence of this strategy and its geopolitic consequences...

1- The statistic risk:

  • Impactors of 50 m, capable of provoking events of the Tunguska, Greenland or Meteor Crater type, occur with an average frequency of one or two per century. Every 1,000 years on average, an asteroid of 100 m strikes the Earth releasing an energy equivalent to 100 megatonnes.

  • Every 300,000 years or so, the Earth suffers a collision with a kilometer-sized asteroid. At a typical speed of 25 km / s, the energy released is equivalent to that of a bomb of 100,000 megatonnes (greater than the total nuclear arsenal world), and the crater created can reach 20 km in diameter.

  • The average impact frequency with an asteroid or comet of 10 km is of the order of 1 every 100 million years. Recall that this is the critical size from which the volume of dust injected into the Earth's atmosphere is capable of plunging the planet into a long asteroidal winter and causing mass extinctions.

As you can see we have a risk on 300 000 years or 100 Million years... Quite low !

2- The pertinence of this strategy:

The strategy chosen by Asgardia is to blow nuclear weapons closed to the asteroids to deviate their trajectory. As you may know every asteroid is very different regarding its composition and friability as meteorites ! So if you're blowing a nuclear weapon closed to them, you may make them exploding and generating severals radio actives big and small fragments which fall on Earth on wilder and larger surface than the asteroid itself. And the consequences on Earth may be worst if you're adding the nuclear contaminated fragments. We know that NASA is thinking on different solutions about these kind of events as different space agencies around the world. The nuclear weapons strategy has been abandoned by them for the profit of the propellants solutions: The principle is very simple, it's consisting in fixing very powerful propellant to the surface of the asteroid to deviate its trajectory as it would be a space vessel... Considering the void of space and the low gravity, you don't need so much energy to deviate on this way the asteroid. Like a small tug is pulling a huge oil tanker in a harbour ! Regarding these informations, we may see that the choose of nuclear weapons is not exactly the best solution

3- The Geopolitic consequences:

As everybody know we have closed to 9 countries who have nuclear weapons on Earth. From the cold war time, we know how it was deeply difficult to maintain a balance on this issue to warrant peace on our Planet. Asgardia is not yet a nation, it's a private company for instance who want to transform itself as a nation by validating its project at the United Nation. Can you imagine the reaction of the different countries when they will see that this nation project want to own nuclear weapons ? Do you seriously think that they will allow it ? If I'm saying that it's regarding our recent history. Let's remind the eighties, when USA wanted to install on orbit nuclear weapons as Russia. They were challenging to do that for one reason that is the one who's owning the nuclear fire in the sky is becoming the master of our World. How does it end ? It has ended by a common agreement in between the 2 biggest power in the world USA and Russia to do not jump in this kind of strategy and to do not develop these kind of weapons to warrant Earth from a Global nuclear destruction ! And now Asgardia may ask under the safety of Earth the use on Earth orbit these kind of weapons ?

So when we know all of that, and I'm sharing this because this is a main issue for our young nation, do you think that for a peaceful country as us, the use of nuclear weapons is necessary ? This is an important question we may ask to the officials because the use of this kind of technology may have a huge geopolitic impact and a huge safety impact for planet Earth. So what is behind the choice of using this kind of weapons ?

Valéry Grancher

Mod Edit Moved from General Discussion to Military and Security Zahira, 22/01/2017

  Last edited by:  Jewell Ledoux (Global Admin, Asgardian)  on Jan 22, 17 18:11 UTC, edited 2 times in total.

Jan 22, 17 09:07 UTC

Hi Valery Once again we are in substantial agreement :)

Re 3 Geopolitical Consequences. I have the same opinion that there is almost a zero chance that the major powers and probably minor Nations too, as most are aligned with the majors and vote according to the lead of their major ally ,will endorse any 3rd party to have nuclear weapons in space particularly if they have them exclusively even if it acquires Nation status at a later date. The only credible option I see is an International body for the control of a weapons platform similar to the ISS with China who is absent coming into the program. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PoliticsoftheInternationalSpace_Station Meanwhile major powers continue to weaponise space in their own National interest and the USA appears to want to maintain and increase it's dominace in this field using space debris and recently Near Earth object preparedfness as a justification the former being a more immediate problem that needs a solution

" The 2011 National Security Space Strategy declared, “Space is vital to U.S. national security and our ability to understand emerging threats, project power globally, conduct operations, support diplomatic efforts, and enable global economic viability.”

Maintaining the benefits afforded by space is central to a wide range of U.S. national interests" I cannot see them giving that up in favour of Asgardia or anyone else without a fight. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43353.pdf

and recerntly as posted elsewhere on forum the USA appears to want to go solo on this despite it's calls for international co operation as I suspect they believe it is in the National interest , they will be the major source of funding and are ahead of the curve with a serious competitive advantage in this area so again It will be almost impossible to have them give that up in favour of 3rd parties https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-white-house-strategy-preps-earth-for-asteroid-hit-scenarios/

Re 2 Strategy I have read a number of articles that strongly suggest blowing up asteroids is not the way to go propellant being the current favourite and will add links later . However it seems that the immediate threat is actually space junk and non nuclear weapons of some kind could be useful in this regard.

Re 1 The statistic risk may be underestimated and is certainly debatable. The moon has a surface area of 38 million km2 while Earth is 12x as large with 500million km2. The moon has 5,185 craters of 20km + wide and 1 million 1km plus wide. https://lovethenightsky.com/many-craters-moon/ Given that the Earth has 12 x larger surface area + stronger gravity could we extrapolate to estimate that Earth has had 12 x as many hits or 60,000 catastrophic hits and 12 million very serious hits? Still long odds but reduces the 10km crater odds from 1 in 100M yrs to considerably less? Whichever is nearer there is a need for a space platform with some type of offensive ability but the concept of international co operation, using AI control systems and relinquishing National interest particularly if you have spent $billions to be leaders in the field is a really big ask. An intersting article and good read from 2,000 trying to put both the optimistic and pessimistic side of the argument/risk ... from page #3 " Even if a billion people are cooked by asteroids over a million years, he says, "The total number of people who will die in that time is in the trillions." The danger of dying from an impact, he says, is "comparable to flying an airplane, it's about the same risk." http://whyfiles.org/106asteroid/index.html

How will Asgardia bring China , Russia and USA together to co operate under an international organisation? The UN path is currently highly suspect given Trumps open critisism of the organisation. Make another toothless, unenforcable agreement/treaty which major powers ignore? We need a credible strategy for this and must realise that this is a decade/s long endeavour with no quick fix

Jan 22, 17 12:22 UTC

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I was of the understanding that the effectiveness of nuclear weapons in space is pretty limited. The majority of the damage from a nuclear weapon is trom the atmospheric shockwave. No atmosphere = no shockwave.

Wouldn't it then follow that the possession of nuclear weapons by a space based nation would be viewed with great skepticism as to the intent for their use?

This reaction would most likely be the same for any weapons system dedigned to deal with space based threats: Turn them Earthward and you have a potentially devestating weapon of mass destruction.

  Updated  on Jan 22, 17 14:04 UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Jan 22, 17 13:11 UTC

Asgardia is going to need research teams of fully qualified professionals in all the disciplines before any of its ideas become workable.

Jan 22, 17 16:39 UTC

As Scarbs says. Using nukes in space is a bit useless. There are many other methods with a better effect.

A better option for example would be a giant laser. And this laser would need to be placed on the dark side of the moon. This way it would make it impossible for the laser to target anything on earth. So no country should have a problem with it being there.

But if you want to talk about nukes. The role that i could see for us is that of nuclear missle prevention. We could announce that any nuclear missle will get destroyed so that no country can shoot them at each other.

Jan 23, 17 03:17 UTC

I would like to bring a precision about my risk statistic : It's coming from European Space agency: The calculation is not based on the ratio surface in between moon and Earth, but about any records on Earth of asteroids and meteorites impact regarding their size !!! The main difference in between Moon and Earth, is not only the surface but the atmosphere which is burning asteroids, or meteorites, even blowing them... So of course less objects are impacting the Earth Surface than on the Moon. Now regarding our past impact, we have geological record everywhere (craters), on our planet, with the satellite they were detected, analyzed (which size) and dated (at what time they impacted our planet) So again as you can see in my post, the risk of impact is low... There is a main one right now for February 1st 2019, its size is enough to erase one continent, but we cannot confirm it, because we have a marge of 10 000 000 km regarding its trajectory ! So nothing is confirming a high risk right now

Valéry Grancher

Jan 23, 17 19:40 UTC

We need to investigate in weaponry more powerful than nuclear weapons.

Jan 28, 17 16:33 UTC

We already have technologies more powerful than nuclear weapons. This isn't a productive use of resources, however, as these things are only possibly capable of destruction.

As a way to provide massive kinetic transfer to an otherwise potentially hazardous asteroid(PHA) then it can hardly be described as a "weapon". PHA 2002 NT7 represents a low probability of impact with the Earth, not even featuring on JPL's "upcoming close approaches to Earth" table - 2017 BB7 comming alarmingly closer, and three times the distance to the moon - and sooner. And that's just this time around, with how orbits work our paths cross again. Using kinetic transfer to move it this time is an effective last-ditch solution, it's unlikely to be a long term fix and require to happen again, and again, each time you do so making more and smaller lumps to track/mitigate. It's making so much more sense to steal these things and mine them to nothing.

Feb 2, 17 01:21 UTC

It is a good job that they made here debating their approaches, which I imagine, based on a previous research and / or their knowledge in the field. I continue to note that they try to impose their concepts which only limits their reasoning abilities to possible alternatives such as this time with the theme of nuclear warheads, a subject of which I do not have much more information referring to the propulsion, I do not know If anyone here is aware of the diversion of matter by water? In more I only have to comment that they do a very good job but they lack that predisposition of cooperation to carry out tasks as important as those in this post are raised and under a margin of military type that is inadmissible. I hope not to offend anyone with this last comment which should be taken as constructive and aimed at improving. For my part I will continue reading your post as well as I have made it known hoping to contribute, perhaps much - perhaps little, in this nation project! Respectfully Air Force Soldier Parachutist Fusilier, Edgar Issael R. Sánchez Alcocer.

Apr 4, 01 / Mar 29, 17 04:07 UTC

Actually nuclear weapons are effective in space, just not as effective as it would be in on a planet, but I think that's a bit much and this time I have to I agree with EyeR and scarab