MindBullets 20 Years

Nudge, Nudge… Oops!

NASA engages in a game of space bowling

In an ironic twist of fate, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) that slammed into the perfectly harmless asteroid Dimorphos while it minded its own business circling the larger asteroid Didymos, is now the target for a real, live deflective mission event by the Planetary Defense Force. The DART impact shortened Dimorphos’ orbit by only a tiny 1% but it upset the delicate binary orbital balance achieved over millennia.

Back in 2022, NASA assured us that “DART targeted the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos, a small body just 560 feet (170 meters) in diameter. It orbits a larger, 2,560-foot-wide (780-meter-wide) asteroid called Didymos. Neither asteroid poses a threat to Earth.” Newly observed data though, shows that the pair of asteroids are heading for a collision with a cluster of larger asteroids, close to Amzo Corp’s Mining Colony 47.

The resulting debris storm will eliminate the mining operation and the bipedal robots deployed there. This is however not the big issue; what is more concerning is that the debris field will intersect with Earth’s trajectory in 2119. The Planetary Defense Force (PDF) is now rushing to launch a new mission, DARE (Double Asteroid Redirection Execution), but the project is informally nicknamed “OOPS” at NASA.

NASA has admitted that with Dimorphos’ changed shape, their mission now feels more like trying to catch a fumbled football than hit a relatively steady rock, which has ballooned the project cost to a staggering US$ 27 billion. “Oops…”, as one NASA employee posted on X and BS (BlueSky) late last night.

US President Jasmina Jackson announced today from the White House that, in the absence of a clear and present danger, she will “drive the implementation of a ‘Do Not Disturb Policy’ for all celestial bodies.”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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