Question details

Current Events Conversation
$ 12.00

Instructions should be read carefully.

Are you Assigned to this Group? Everyone participates in the "Current Events Conversations".

Writing Your Response:

1.      “Current Events Conversations" are slightly less formal than your Group Debates. Students still need to use proper grammar and writing techniques. Responses should be complete, well thought out, and presented in a logical manner.

2.      A minimum of two paragraphs are required for this initial posting.

3.      You are not required to support your post with references, but you are encouraged to include images, graphics, links to videos, and so on to create a more dynamic submission.

4.      Your initial post should be submitted early so that response comments can be posted by the session deadline.

Responding to Peers: Please be certain to read and comment on two other classmates' posts. Your comments should address something specific from your peer's post. Note: Brief responses like “I agree” or “I disagree” will receive no credit.

Topic of Conversation: NOVA Asteroids:  Doomsday or Payday?

On February 15, 2013, an asteroid became a meteor (entered Earth’s atmosphere) over Chelyabinsk, Russia.  Did you see it covered on the news?  If not, here are some links to bring you up to speed on what happened:

·         NBC News Coverage:

·         PBS News Coverage:

·         Video footage from those who experienced it firsthand:

For this discussion, you’ll need to first watch the NOVA program titled “Asteroid:  Doomsday or Payday?” at the following link: (approximately 53 minutes long)

In your initial two paragraph post, comment on the following questions:

1.      Currently we are only able to identify asteroids potentially days before impact (and we are missing approximately 50% of them).  Astronaut Ed Lu in the video states that it is negligence if we don’t stop these asteroids.  Do you think we should we upgrade our search capability and detection and warning systems for near earth objects?  Why or why not?

2.      Is it a problem we can solve?  We can’t stop earthquakes or tornadoes, but we have improved our detection and warning systems for those events.  What are your thoughts about destruction/disruption of asteroids versus deflection/kinetic impact of asteroids?

3.      Do you see asteroids more as a threat or as an opportunity?  What is your thought about mining on asteroids?

4.      Toward the end of the video, setting up refueling stations on asteroids is pitched as a way that we can “live, work, & play in space permanently”.  What is your thought about this?  Do you want to live, work, & play in space?  Is this something that we should be investing in for future space exploration and/or potential survival of the human race? (Two resources that might help you to think about this include the short video “A Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan and this short discussion by Stephen Hawking titled “Abandon Earth-or Face Extinction”.)


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