Nextbigfuture – A Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle (HAIV) mission architecture, which blends a hypervelocity kinetic impactor with a subsurface nuclear explosion for optimal fragmentation and dispersion of hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs), has been developed through a 2011 NIAC Phase I study. Despite the uncertainties inherent to the nuclear disruption approach, disruption can become an effective strategy if most fragments disperse at speeds in excess of the escape velocity of an asteroid so that a very small number of fragments impacts the Earth. Thus, the proposed HAIV system will become essential for reliably mitigating the most probable impact threat: NEOs with warning times shorter than 10 years. It offers a potential breakthrough or great leap in mission capabilities for mitigating the impact threat of NEOs. The proposed Phase II study further develops the HAIV-based mission architecture and explores its potential infusion options within NASA and beyond.
Nextbigfuture – The NASA Johnson Space Center July, 2012 roundup newsletter has coverage of Harold White’s space warping experiment. They are testing a physics loophole for faster than light travel which amazingly can be found in mathematical equations. Those equations are tested using an instrument called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer. “We’ve initiated an interferometer test bed in this lab, where we’re going to go through and try and generate a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble,” White said. “And although this is just a microscopic instance of the phenomena, we’re perturbing space time, one part in 10 million, a very tiny amount.”