By the 2020s NASA concluded that “the nuclear interceptor option can deflect [Near Earth Objects] of [100-500m diameter] two years before impact, and larger NEOs with at least five years warning”.
So as long as they spot us thirteen years, we should be in business, yes?
Not so fast, we say. And then we look at the 2020 date and we say, okay, that’s not very fast to begin with. Never mind.
Anyway, our point is this: given what we know about giant rocks coming after us, we need to be aware that this plan may have unintended consequences which must be taken into consideration before any such mission is planned. At Needcoffee, we maintain a series of Global Frequency-like experts around the world who can be called upon to provide support in the case of zombies, Skynet, mimes and several other world-threatening occurrences.
We’ve talked with them about NASA’s plans. Their concerns come after the break.
Baysian Universe Physics. Scientists who are working on this project no doubt are dealing with what we all know and love as our standard set of physics rules. However, if we are dealing with a space rock there is some danger we may find ourselves thrust into a Michael Bay Universe. If this is the case, then all known physics go screaming out the door with their ass on fire. We’d hate for them to think, for example, that an explosion would act like an explosion when it’s really a slow-moving wall of fire, or also we think our astronauts would be startled as hell to hear sounds in space. Every eventuality must be planned for.
The Obligatory and Awkward Romantic Scene. Has NASA planned for a sudden and abrupt change in the pace of the mission due to a perceived need for a romantic subplot involving really terrible acting and animal crackers? If they’ve baked the time necessary to allow for this slow down in the narrative (two years, by our reckoning) then we think we’re fine. Otherwise, when a rock comes knocking in 2021 and it’s behind schedule, well, it’ll just be tough, Russ.
Unnecessary Rewrites. While the script NASA has prepared might read well, we all know that between now and 2020 around fourteen other screenwriters will get a hold of it. You can expect the beautiful narrative they’ve constructed to get crushed once they realize that the Russian Space Agency’s anti-space rock idea is a lot more flashy and with better special effects. The humanity involved in NASA’s storyline will probably get perforated, leaving all of us unsatisfied and the original screenwriter in tears.
Steve Buscemi Gets All the Best Lines. This isn’t really a problem, it’s just that anybody looking to get a good one-liner out of the deal better bring their own. We’re just saying.