July 2014

Joint U.S. and Canada Mission to Asteroid Bennu

              There are many ways that the world could end. War, volcanoes, plagues, solar flares, etc. One disaster scenario that has gotten a lot of publicity is the possibility of a big asteroid strike that would destroy civilization. There have been attempts to catalog asteroids that regularly cross the orbit of the Earth that might pose a risk. There are a lot of that type of asteroid but the probability of any particular such asteroid striking us is very small.

Wild Ideas for Using Nuclear Bombs to Terraform the Planets

         At the dawn of the Atomic Age, there was talk of using nuclear bombs for civilian purposes such as digging canals and harbors. In the Soviet Union, there was even a plan to use nuclear bombs for fracking natural gas. Fortunately this plan was never carried out. However, it turns out that these proposals were tame in comparison to ideas expressed by an astronomer named Fred Zwicky at CalTech.