The Asteroid That (Almost) Came For Dinner

On Saturday, August 30, 2016, astronomers discovered a new asteroid near Earth, just a few hours…

…before it almost hit us.


Update: July 25, 2017

NASA announced June 22, 2017, that they were closing the Asteroid Redirect Program, less than a year after it was announced.  Now, this is truly bizarre.  From SkyandTelescope.com:

“After years of study, NASA announced recently that its plan to retrieve an asteroid and place it in lunar orbit, known as the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), will be shut down due to lack of congressional support in the proposed FY2018 budget. The NASA ARM program director Michele Gates made the announcement on June 13th, during the recent meeting of the Small Bodies Assessment Group held at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The focus will now turn to shutting down the program while salvaging key technologies and lessons learned for other possible future applications.”

Night sky with stars and moon and clouds. (Credit: NASA)

I KNEW IT.  After ‘years of study’, but they just told us about it last year?  And they could certainly have found room in the NASA budget, if they took out some of their CGI-created nonsense they pass off as Hubble telescope videos, etc. to keep a program going that is potentially going to save the planet.  If there was such an urgency last year, why would it suddenly be deemed not worth continuing by the US government?  And blaming the Trump administration, like they don’t care to protect the planet?  This smells like a set-up to me.  Now, if we do get hit with something, who is going to take the blame – after all, NASA alone was ordered by a President to be watching the skies to protect us from anything coming our way.

One thing is sure – if something does come this way, we aren’t going to be told about it until it is probably too late to react.  They don’t want society to devolve, people to stop paying their bills, quit their jobs, etc. because of some upcoming event.

But the real shocker – It was announced at the same time, that both houses of Congress were encouraging the current funding for NASA’s Asteroid Redirection Mission be abandoned, and the money be used instead for a return to the Moon. I personally have spent an incredible amount of time going over documents, testimonies from the astronauts, and I cannot believe they are going to try to pass this one off on us AGAIN...because we never went to the moon in the first place.

Nobody at NASA seems to have any answer for many questions about the moon landing, questions I have detailed in a new posting – The Moon Landing Myths.

Congress says another Moon mission would serve as a stepping stone toward exploring the asteroid belt found beyond Earth and then the exploration of Mars. But a Moon mission would use all the money currently being saved for the Mars mission, and many feel that a Moon mission might just be a consolation prize.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) says there is no better proving ground for NASA technologies than the Moon, with the goal of sending humans to Mars by mid-2030. Honda is only one of the U.S. congressmen actively applying pressure to focus on the Moon rather than Mars. The Moon mission would be much more budget-friendly, and Congress has not been receptive to funding the Mars mission.

More fake videos with fake astronauts on a sound stage.  I can’t wait.


On August 28, 2016, Earth almost came face-to-face with an asteroid named 2016 QA2, which missed us by less than a quarter of the distance to the moon.  That puts it at only three times farther away from Earth as our farthest satellites. And we never saw it coming.

So how did 2016 QA2 sneak up on us like that? For this particular asteroid, the answer seems to be that it has a very peculiar orbit. It’s highly elliptical, which means it can usually be found hanging out by either Mars or Venus, but rarely ends up near Earth.

As Space.com reports:

The newfound asteroid 2016 QA2 zoomed within 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) or so of the planet Sunday. For perspective, the moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 239,000 miles (384,600 km).

Astronomers think 2016 QA2 is between 80 and 180 feet (25 to 55 meters) wide. That means the space rock is slightly bigger than the object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring more than 1,200 people. [emphasis mine]

But another, more worrying reason is that there aren’t a lot of people looking for potentially dangerous asteroids. While Congress has tasked NASA with finding 90 percent of asteroids 450 feet or larger by 2020, the agency is nowhere close to that goal. Funding for asteroid detection is very low, and most telescopes that could detect asteroids of this size won’t come online for a few more years.

And even if NASA was on track to meet that goal, they still would have missed 2016 QA2, which is only about 50-100 feet. Asteroids of this size are so small that there’s almost nothing we can do to detect them. And they can still cause a lot of damage, as the Chelyabinsk asteroid confirmed.

Which therefore made the announcement by NASA in June 2016 even more unnerving:  The formation of an “Asteroid Redirect Mission”.  Picture the movie Armageddon – come to life.  From their site:

Graphic showing what the Asteroid Redirect Mission could be like.

“NASA is developing a first-ever robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid, collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon. Once it’s there, astronauts will explore it and return with samples in the 2020s. This Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of NASA’s plan to advance the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s.”

Here is what I find unnerving about this – NASA announced this like it was just another day at the beach.  They are basically telling us that such a need exists.  It has either not existed before, or it is intensified today – or there is an actual threat, already predetermined, that they have not told us about.  Or even more bizarre and unthinkable – they have already done trials or an actual rescue has already been launched.  NASA never announces anything that is not advantageous for them to announce when they do – in other words, if they didn’t want us to know about this for some reason of agenda, we would never have heard about it.

NASA Nasty


nasalies

By NASA Nonsense, Founding Partner
Calling Out Community
Posted August 28, 2016.  Updated July 26, 2017.

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Asgardia: The First Country in SPACE

As bizarre as  and it may sound, plans are seriously underway for the creation of the very first nation… in space.  This new nation, called Asgardia,  is purporting to be soon recognized as an official member of the United Nations, and calls are now going out for people who wish to become the first citizens of this new nation – to be housed permanently on a to-be-built space station.

Folks, this isn’t science fiction.  


Before I get into the nutty politics or science fiction that still does envelope this story, I’d like to first address where the name Asgardia came from.

Marvel Comic's adaptation of the capital city of the Norse gods, including King Odin and crown prince (and comic book hero) Thor (Credit: Marvel)
Marvel Comic’s adaptation of the capital city of the Norse gods, including King Odin and crown prince (and comic book hero) Thor (Credit: Marvel)

In the Norse religion, Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds or Nine Realms, the “capital city of the gods”, and home to a tribe of gods ruled by Odin and his wife Frigg (ironic, as the first thing I said out loud after hearing this story was “what the frigg?”, but I digress).

You will recognize the name of the younger son of Odin, who is probably the most famous resident of Asgard today.  He made a few hundred million dollars for Hollywood: Thor.

Stargate's Asgard race. (Credit: Stargate Official MGM Site)
Stargate’s Asgard race. (Credit: Stargate Official MGM Site)

Many of us sci fi fans will also recognize the name from the Stargate television universe.  The “Asgard“, as all you Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe fans will remember, is a benevolent, extremely advanced race of beings from the Ida galaxy that visited earth on many occasions, using the cover of primitive gods (which the TV series’ presumes led to our development of Nordic mythology in the first place), and took the assumed role of protectors of the Milky Way.  (Footnote: all three series were filmed for more than a decade right here at Bridge Studios in beautiful Vancouver, Canada – which, in keeping with full disclosure, I have no connection with.)

Asgardia: A Nation In Space
untitled
I am very proud today to say that I am the 349,199th person to apply to join the Asgardian nation – and in the 1.5 hours or so that it took to write this article, another 1,600 or so had signed up.  They’ll be sending me information apparently on my citizenship application soon.  (Please don’t tell the Government of Canada about this, I just paid for a new passport and I’d really like to keep it).

According to their official website:

For the first time in history, a new nation state has been created – not on earth but in the heavens above. Asgardia is the prototype of a free and unrestricted society which holds knowledge, intelligence and science at its core, along with the recognition of the ultimate value of each human life. You can join like-minded people on this new exciting step in fostering extended future for mankind.

My first impressiona lot of bong hits went into the development of this concept and website.  My second thought – oh crap, they’d be more believable if they didn’t get all their photos from NASA.  The earth really has no curvature, dummies.  But anyway…

iPhone SE, the official dictation tool of this text (backspace keys were often used in the making of this article)
iPhone SE, the official dictation tool of this text (backspace keys were often used in the making of this article)

In keeping with the theme of this sci fi/techno article, I have dictated the entire text you are reading on my iPhone SE using iOS 10.  I know you space geeks love knowing that.  I should add that “Asgardia” is “as guardian” or “ass guard“, according to Siri, Apple’s constantly-yapping-but-never-actually-assisting assistant.  And don’t bother correcting her. She won’t budge.

On their official website, they are actually having a contest for the development of their flag, their insignia, and even their anthem – and citizens are invited to participate in contests to develop those key symbols for this new nation.

“Space Bound” is from Eminim’s album Recovery, available wherever rap albums are found. Or you could steal it online, but I don’t encourage that. If you’re into rap that is. I’m not.

I would like to submit the song “Space Bound” by Eminem.  The lyrics include:

I’m a space bound rocket ship and your heart’s the moon
And I’m aiming right at you
Right at you
Two hundred fifty thousand miles on a clear night in June
And I’m aiming right at you

Millennials will love it.  But it’s a bit too rocky if the Queen comes to visit.  Maybe John Williams’ theme song for Star Wars.  The latter will sound great during medal ceremonies at the Olympics. Although Asgardia has to first get a French equivalent for the athlete’s parade into the stadium.

Winners of the above contests will also be offered the opportunity to contribute their personal message to a time capsule to be placed on the first Asgardian satellite.  Meh, not that captivating.

The founder of Asgardi looks very familiar. hmmm.... (Credit: Asgardia site)
The founder of Asgardi looks very familiar. hmmm…. (Credit: Asgardia site)

The founding father of Asgardia is Igor Ashurbeyli, head of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Vienna and chairman of UNESCO’s science of space committee (both of which, I’m sure, are trying to figure out how to encourage early retirement).  He heads the initiative in close collaboration with a group of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and legal experts apparently. And he looks oddly like Geppetto from Disney’s Pinocchio.  If Disney’s version got a haircut.  Or he could be Santa’s younger brother.

According to Gepe… oops Ashurbeyli, in the first 40 hours after he announced the birth of the new space nation Asgardia,  100,000 people for more than 200 countries on earth applied to join.  4 days later, he had more than 300,000 applicants.  He made this announcement in Paris on October 14.

Therefore we can extrapolate:

  • October 6 – launch date
  • October 10 – 4 days later – 100,000
  • October 14 – 4 days later – 300,000
  • October 16 – 2 days later (today) – 351,000+

He had stated that they will continue with registration, aiming to bring together 1 million people. I calculate that, without a major spike in PR, it’s safe to assume that Pinocchio will become a real boy first, Geppetto.

And soon, the founder promises, “we will become a member of the United Nations” (at time of publication, we did not have verification from the United Nations about this possibility).  He also wants to create a giant shield to protect Earth from space junk.  I’m not making this up.

downloadHe states that the top three countries where Asgardians currently reside are China, the United States and Turkey (not sure how the latter would have made the up 3) – virtually guaranteeing that their new nation is going to be “hell on earth…in space”.  And they’ll have decent take out food and TV channels.

He signed off his opening speech with this important fact:

This guy looks like he’s wearing a fake mustache – he doesn’t really look like the founder’s photo above. In fact, this could be a woman in a Halloween costume.

“Among more than 240 countries on earth, Asgardia is now number 188 in terms of population. It is between Samoa and Barbados” (we presume he means “in size” not location, as they are not currently in space).

It’s tough to tell if this old guy is actually insane or has some concept behind him – there doesn’t seem to be any sense of where the money’s going to come from to pay for the space station.  I also find it hard to believe that any other country on earth is going to recognize this as a “fully fledged and independent nation, with all the attributes of status entailed: a government and embassies, a flag, a national anthem and insignia, and so on.”

Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek universe. (Credit: IMDB)
Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek universe. (Credit: IMDB)

Gene Roddenberry had a concept of “space: the final frontier” – and created a whole television and movie empire around it:  Star Trek.  In tribute, it was reported that Space Shuttle Columbia (mission STS-52) carried a portion of Roddenberry’s cremated remains into space and returned them to Earth.

That’s insane – why weren’t they sent up on the Space Shuttle Enterprise?  And why didn’t they just leave them there?  And why did they have to tell us it was a “portion” of his remains.  Gross.

Maybe this old guy Igor is on to something – or maybe he’s just ON something. But my feeling is, he’s gonna be another pile of space junk in the very near future, hopefully not cluttering up our space highway when we finally, actually, for real (not a hoax like the moon landings) take off for Mars.

1284a_medAnd by the way NASA, you’re not fooling me – You’re not getting away with a “bait and switch” to Mars, California,  Mars, Nebraska, or Mars, Pennsylvania either.  We’re watching you.

NASA Nasty


nasalies

By NASA Nonsense, Founding Partner
Calling Out Community
Posted October 16, 2016

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