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Science Forum

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Just another day
    10 Oct '09 21:46
    Could we harnass the gravitational potential energy already in asteroids as a power source by lowering them in a controlled fashion down to earth, attached to a battery or something?
  2. 10 Oct '09 23:37
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Could we harnass the gravitational potential energy already in asteroids as a power source by lowering them in a controlled fashion down to earth, attached to a battery or something?
    You would end up using more energy slowing them down enough to be able to manage them like that.
  3. 12 Oct '09 07:37
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Could we harnass the gravitational potential energy already in asteroids as a power source by lowering them in a controlled fashion down to earth, attached to a battery or something?
    Way too much trouble.
    We are not short of terrestrial energy sources.
    We could presumably guide asteroids so that they hit the earth in specific spots then we could harness the energy released (heat, waves etc) but if we are too lazy to harness the wind and waves we already have, why go to all that trouble for the rare asteroid?
    What makes more sense is harnessing something more stable like the moons gravitational energy. Luckily we don't need to hook up a wire from here to the moon, we simply make use of tides.
  4. 12 Oct '09 15:13
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Way too much trouble.
    We are not short of terrestrial energy sources.
    We could presumably guide asteroids so that they hit the earth in specific spots then we could harness the energy released (heat, waves etc) but if we are too lazy to harness the wind and waves we already have, why go to all that trouble for the rare asteroid?
    What makes more sense i ...[text shortened]... gy. Luckily we don't need to hook up a wire from here to the moon, we simply make use of tides.
    Plus that there is still a lot of coal in the ground waiting to be used.
  5. 12 Oct '09 15:20
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    Plus that there is still a lot of coal in the ground waiting to be used.
    Emission free coal is okay...
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Oct '09 16:05
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Emission free coal is okay...
    Yep, just as good as non-proselytizing Christians🙂
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Just another day
    12 Oct '09 22:19
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    You would end up using more energy slowing them down enough to be able to manage them like that.
    I don't know...I'm thinking big windmill blades on top, slowing it down via rotation.
  8. 13 Oct '09 06:54
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I don't know...I'm thinking big windmill blades on top, slowing it down via rotation.
    So you fire some nano-bots at any large enough asteroids and they construct these large blades and a dynamo and microwave transmitter on the asteroid then when it hits earths atmosphere it generates energy which is sent to ground stations by microwave? If you have the technology to harness asteroid energy then you have the technology to use coal cleanly. In fact we already have the latter, what we lack is the motivation.
    The world is not short of energy sources, the world is short of energy sources that are cheaper than fossil fuels processed the dirty way. The spike in oil prices a year or two ago made a massive difference to the alternative energy industry. If the US could just get up the guts to tax oil, we would be far closer to cleaner energy. Forcing fossil fuel processors to use cleaner methods would have doubly beneficial effect ie higher prices for the end product and less pollution during processing.
    Windmills on asteroids is the sort of thing that the US government would love because it, like the 'hydrogen economy', can be used as an excuse to spend many years doing useless research whilst slowing down more practical changes.