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NASA的捕获小行星计划 – 译学馆
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NASA的捕获小行星计划

NASA's Plan to Capture an Asteroid

欢迎收看SciShow Space News 我是这期节目的主持人Caitlin Hofmeister
Welcome to SciShow Space News. I’m Caitlin Hofmeister, your host on our first voyage
觉得这个消息怎样 建一个机器人 把它送进太空
together. So tell me how this sounds to you. We build a robot, huck it into space, use
用它捕捉一个千吨级的小行星 再把小行星带入近月轨道
it to grab a thousand ton asteroid and park it in orbit around the Moon so astronauts
然后宇航员就可以登陆这个小行星 是不是听起来很棒啊
can walk around on it, because I think that sounds awesome. And that’s exactly what
然而这就是NASA正在计划做的事情
NASA’s planning to do.
自1998年以来 NASA近地天体观察计划就已经开始搜寻
Since 1998, NASA’s Near Earth Object Observation Program has been searching local space for
可能会对我们造成威胁的彗星和小行星 到目前为止已找出超过10,000颗符合条件的小行星
comets and asteroids that might kill us. So far it’s identified over 10,000 nearby asteroids,
现在NASA的科学家正在加快收集太空岩石数据的进程
and now NASA scientists are ramping up their plan to use that data to take rock collection
几天前 NASA邀请各地技术公司帮助
to a whole new level. A few days ago, NASA invited tech companies everywhere to help
构建探索新小行星计划所需要的数据
build the technology they’ll need for their new asteroid retrieval mission.
小行星有可能是最棒的原材料来源
Asteroids have the potential to be a mindboggling source of raw materials. A space rock just
一颗直径500米的太空岩石含有的贵金属比我们所认知的储备量还要多
500 meters across could contain more precious metals than humanities entire known reserve.
处于火星和木星间的16号小行星Psyche被认为有着1.7兆吨的
One large asteroid between Mars and Jupiter named 16 Psyche is thought to hold 17 million
镍和铁 这足以满足地球数百万年对镍铁的需求
billion tons of nickel and iron, enough to satisfy demand on Earth for millions of years.
还有 小行星上的水可以被用来做火箭去火星所需的燃料
Plus, asteroids contain water, which could be used as a source of fuel for rockets enroute
所以收集小行星可能是殖民火星至关重要的一步
to Mars. So harvesting asteroids could probably be a crucial component of any serious
然而问题是这些东西都在太空
attempt at colonizing Mars. The problem is that all that stuff is out there in space.
与此同时 小行星和地球都有着很长的一段历史 真是戏剧性
Meanwhile, asteroids and Earth have a long history together and it’s full of drama.
那么 第一步就是从这些符合要求的小行星中带一个回来研究
So, the first step in harnessing all the goodness from these rocks is to bring one home for
在2017年或2018年 NASA计划向第一颗小行星发射一个
us to study. In 2017 or 18, NASA plans to launch the first asteroid redirect vehicle
像是带着大麻袋的50千瓦太阳能装置
which basically looks like a 50-kilowatt solar-power array attached to a really giant sack. Using
利用太阳能飞行至NASA指定的地点 这大约耗时2年
solar power, it’ll fly out to whichever asteroid NASA picks, taking about two years to get
当它飞到太空岩石附近时就用袋子把小行星包裹起来 然后拉着小行星
there, and when it arrives at the rock it’ll just bag it. Then it’ll pull the asteroid
脱离它原来的轨道 利用月球引力把它拉向近月轨道
out of its orbit so that it spirals in towards us just in time to get pulled into the lunar
整个过程将要2-5年
orbit by the Moon’s gravity, a whole process that’ll take another 2-5 years.
然后 这个装置会带小行星进入所谓的逆行轨道
After that, the vehicle will park the asteroid in what scientists call a distant retrograde
这个轨道大约在离月70,000公里左右
orbit, some 70,000 kilometers above the surface of the Moon. And then it’s just a 25 day
宇航员到达逆行轨道大约需要25天
trip for a crew of two to fly out there and see what’s up. NASA predicts that astronauts
NASA预测宇航员将在2025年登陆这颗小行星并采集岩石样品
will be visiting our adopted asteroid by 2025 to inspect it, collect samples and eventually
直到最后这颗小行星的岩石被采集完 这将是我们有史以来对小行星的结构组成
dismantle it. It’ll be our closest look ever at the structure and composition of an
最深入的一次研究
asteroid.
现在你明白了吧 太空工厂和火星殖民可能还有很长一段路要走
So there you have it. Space factories and Martian colonies might be a long way off,
为了让这个计划马上实现 我们需要大力发展科技
but we’re developing the technology we’ll need to make them happen right now.
感谢收看我们的SciShow Space News 特别是支持我们的Subbable用户
Thanks for joining me for SciShow Space News, especially to our Subbable subscribers who
如果你对我们的节目感兴趣
make this channel possible. If you’d like a little bit of SciShow for yourself, like
想要得到我们节目的特制领带和巧克力棒的话 欢迎登陆subbable.com/scishow
a SciShow tie or chocolate bar, go to subbable.com/scishow to learn more. And if you have questions or
如果你对这期视频有什么问题或想法 你可以通过脸书 推特或者像往常一样
ideas for an episode you’d like to see, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter and,
在下面的评论区留言如果你想和我们一起变得越来越博识
as always, in the comments below. And if you want to keep getting smarter with us, go to
记得订阅我们的youtube.com/scishowspace
youtube.com/scishowspace and subscribe.

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