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Earth has a new mini moon!


Dirkidirk
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Nice! I've always thought just one moon is boring, surely we can do better than that. I mean, come on, where's Minmus?! I want a Minmus!

 

Welcome to Earth, 2020 CD3. Sorry your stay can't be longer.

Edited by ThatGuyWithALongUsername
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17 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Eh. A new mini-moon? Earth doesn't care.

But the Moon, on the other hand? A new Mini-Me! The Moon is so happy!

the moon people will eat it if nasa doesn't get it first!

43 minutes ago, Mitchz95 said:

A moon the size of a car isn't much of a moon.

Find one the size of Texas and then we'll talk.

what if I told you that I know a guy who knows a guy that knows a guy who knows a guy that knows a Woman that knows a guy who...  ;)

Edited by Dirkidirk
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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

Eh. A new mini-moon? Earth doesn't care.

But the Moon, on the other hand? A new Mini-Me! The Moon is so happy!

No its, it might thought it would help but it will kick it out again.
We even had an Saturn 5 3rd stage coming back to orbit earth and the moon wanted none of it. Make sense as we crashed the later one onto the moon. 

This effect can be seen in KSP, something the Mun captures an astroid who orbits until it get another encounter with Mun who kick it out again. Its also why stages who enter Mun SOI will end up in solar orbit. 

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Yes this isn't the first time this has happened and yes it only lasts a couple months (in fact, with a 2-body system, it's impossible to permanently capture a satellite like this- you need at least 3 bodies), but honestly, who cares- it's kinda fun to joke about.

Just as a though experiment, though- I wonder what it would take to cheat a bit and... oh, I don't know, nudge a near-earth asteroid in the right direction and give it a small insertion burn on arrival? You know, Asteroid Redirect Mission style

 

But ARM was way too practical. I just want to be stupid and unrealistic here!

Ignoring practicality for a minute, the largest Near Earth Asteroid of any kind is 1036 Ganymed (not to be confused with Ganymede), which is only 30-something km in diameter. It's also on a long, elliptical Mars-crossing orbit straight from the edge of the asteroid belt. It's a shame we don't really have access to anything bigger, but that's pretty good- it's bigger than both of Mars's moons, and they're pretty neat and respectable, right? You'd want to place it at a distance- not just to avoid satellite collisions (artificial satellites, not natural-ish ones) but also to lower the energy needed here. Not that it would matter much. There's a lot of energy needed here.

It would be... impractical to move an asteroid this large just about anywhere, so we'd want a slow a delta-v trajectory as possible. First thing you'd need to do is slow it down a bunch and circularize its orbit so it can get a low-energy approach to Earth. This asteroid does pass by Earth on occasion- currently the asteroid is set up for a relatively close approach in 2024- so I guess what you'd want to do is nudge the asteroid (ideally at aphelion to maximize Oberth effect, but probably not because this would really only work with high-performance electric propulsion like Ion thruster, except it wouldn't because that's a big ion thruster) so it gets a gravity assist off of Earth precisely tuned to set it up for multiple subsequent Earth gravity assists, kinda like how missions to Mercury often use a bunch of Mercury flybys before attempting orbit insertion.

Then you'd try to set it up on an approach that gets it captured temporarily like our good friend 2020 CD3, and once it's here (you can refuel the giant pusher thing you'd need easier) you can nudge it a out of he resonance with the Moon (maybe after a tuned flyby to circularize its orbit) and BAM! new satellite!

Of course, good luck figuring out how to do any orbital adjustments on a giant, rotating, and unknown-but-very-large-mass object like that without messing it up (don't want to ruin the natural beauty of it or anything... after all, what we're doing to it is totally natural, right?). Oh, and you also may want to be extra careful with making sure the probe doesn't fail before course correction manuevers. Depending on how off the trajectory is, failure would be... well, it would have worse consequences than your everyday planetary science mission, let's just leave it at that. I was gonna compare it to the Chicxulub Impactor that killed the dinosaurs but estimates on radius vary too much- let's just say it's within variation

Just think of it this way- it would be the ultimate asteroid sample-return mission!

 

EDIT: uh... didn't notice the inclination. It doesn't intersect with Earth's orbital plane at all, where did I get that from? That makes it a... *bit* harder. I guess you could do plane change gravity assists using its close approaches to Mars (those *do* happen, mark your calendars for 16 December 2176)? Or maybe you could even have better luck stealing a bigger asteroid from the main belt with a bit of help from Jupiter.

Edited by ThatGuyWithALongUsername
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Idea:

Since its new and we arent emotionally attached yet

And especially since its very small

I propose we blow it up several days before the next New Years.

Multi-day, global fireworks display as the debris rains over the Earth!

**edit**

Oh, satellites...right. Hmph, we cant do anything cool.

 

Edited by p1t1o
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6 minutes ago, p1t1o said:

And especially since its very small

I propose we blow it up several days before the next New Years.

Multi-day, global fireworks display as the debris rains over the Earth!

**edit**

Oh, satellites...right. Hmph, we cant do anything cool.

 

the asteroid is the size of a car. I doubt we will see anything.

a better Idea would be to put an engine on it and put it in LEO (and make it a little bigger). that way everyone can see it in all of it's glory

6 minutes ago, p1t1o said:

Since its new and we aren't emotionally attached yet

I AM! Don't You DARE kill the MOON'S BABY BROTHER, YOU MONSTER! :mad:

Edited by Dirkidirk
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1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

@Dirkidirk Oh! I thought it was bigger, Im must have mis-remembered something else.

***edit***

Could......

......could we land it?

If we had a starship with some way to grabbing and securing it yes. Should also be doable with an shuttle if we got it down into LEO on an separate mission. 

Without having it in an cargo bay or other protection no. 
Yes you have metorites but most that is like saying something like the falcon 9 second stage land because parts of the engine splashes down. 
An larger asteroid could litobrake but don't try this at home. 
250px-Barringer_Meteor_Crater,_Arizona.j

56 minutes ago, Dirkidirk said:

yes, we can, but it will be incredibly difficult. are you up for the challenge?

 

Nice idea about the radiators. I tried some gentle aerobraking of asteroids and they tend to blow up easy. 

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5 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

We should start a petition to name it Minmus.

Yeah, we should.

Spoiler

If you arent joking, then scroll up. If you are, then you probably got amused, or something.

 

14 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

How long is it supposed to hang around? Long enough for someone to send a probe to it? Preferably with a Klaw, a honkin' big xenon tank, and a bunch of ion engines?

3 years

1 hour ago, Khesperus said:

Somebody started a petition to change its name to Minmus.

Just petitioned!

Edited by Dirkidirk
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