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Nuclear-Powered Asteroid-Cracking Robotic Rhinoceros Fleet

It's really the only way
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When an incoming Earth-Clobbering asteroid is detected, after the laborious naming process is over with, a fleet of high-speed giant space wasps will be dispatched--wait, did I mention the giant space wasps? Yeah, there are giant space wasps. Anyway, they will be dispatched on an intercept course to meet the asteroid while it is still far enough from Earth to give this scheme time to work, but close enough that it can be observed through mega- giant telescopes and broadcast on pay-per-view.

Clutched tightly to the thorax of each giant space wasp will be a giant robot space rhinoceros. These machines will be powered by reconditioned nuclear reactors removed from decommissioned nuclear submarines. For preference, I'd use liqiud sodium reactors from old Russian subs because this all happens in outer space, so it can be dirty as hell.

When the fleet arrives, the robot rhinoceroses will be deposited on the surface of the asteroid and the space wasps will take up a holding pattern nearby. Using the 42GzW deuterium flouride lasers mounted in their nostrils, an advance team of rhinos will begin scoring the crust of the asteroid in a pre-programmed pattern, having already determined the composition and internal structure using, um, ground-penetrating radar and stuff. Meanwhile, the bulk of the herd will follow close behind, using their lasers and reinforced boron-carbide-tipped horns to create 'rhinoceros superhighways' along these artificial fault lines. In this first phase, they will maneuver primarily with vectored-thrust rockets located in the ears and anus. Deployed from the hangar-like bellies of the robot rhinoceroses, a horde of Automated Refinery Snails (WKTE) will follow behind them, slurping up the spoil and using the low-grade iron ore and other materials it contains to create a special ferrous cement which they will lay down in a metallic, self-hardening slime trail.

Once the primary stage is complete, the herd will assemble into a tight formation and begin to stampede in perfect lockstep around and around the asteroid until their pounding electromagnetic rhinoceros feet match the crust's structural resonance, resulting in controlled fracture. As the crust comes apart, the giant space wasps descend once more and carry away the broken segments, exposing the yummy nickel-iron meat of the enormous space-walnut for the rhinoceroses to gorge themselves upon, storing the rich ore in their cavernous bellies. When the feast is complete, the fleet will return to Earth with its bounty, making a quick stop at Jupiter to toss the crust segments into the big red spot, to the general amusement of billions of veiwers at home.

Thus, several problems have been solved all in one go: the Russians can get rid of all their surplus nuclear submarines before one of the aging reactors goes critical and turns Polyarny Inlet into a big cauldron of glowing sturgeon stew, the giant space wasps will be given a useful purpose in life and will no longer sate their bloodlust upon the helpless green-skinned Venusian sex princesses, and, of course, the Earth will not be clobbered by a massive asteroid.

<NOTE: the bit with the anal thrusters and the snails was added to the plan after [Vernon]'s helpful anno regarding gravity and the lack thereof. [pocmloc]'s anno about thrusters was posted while the additions were being made, but I'll happily share the credit anyway. Strange minds sometimes think alike.>

Alterother, Mar 08 2012

I think I might have a few rhino exoskeletons floating around somewhere Mock_20Rhino_20exoskeleton_20suit
is 2012 the HB Year of the Mecha Rhino or something [not_morrison_rm, Mar 09 2012]

Test Site Alpha http://www.bbc.co.u...nvironment-17481911
We'll start the stampede from right here! [Alterother, Mar 24 2012]

[link]






       It's a long shot, but it just might work.
Loris, Mar 08 2012
  

       How do they tell the difference between an asteroid and the Earth?
pocmloc, Mar 08 2012
  

       By scent. Rhinoceroses have highly developed olfactory capabilities, robotic ones even more so.
Alterother, Mar 08 2012
  

       The "stampede" part of this Idea depends on the existence of significant gravitation, which no asteroid possesses.
Vernon, Mar 08 2012
  

       That is an excellent point, and one which requires further development. I'll get the girls down at the Heathen Institute for Inadvisably Applied Science & Historical Re- Configuration working on it immediately.   

       Suggestions are always welcome, of course.
Alterother, Mar 08 2012
  

       Retro-rockets mounted on the rhinos’ backs, pressing them onto the asteroid surface (or, in the event of a funny smell, onto the Earth’s surface).
pocmloc, Mar 08 2012
  

       Well, that was about 0.3 VU* of well-written and well-thought-out idea. I can but bun.   

       *Vernon Units. 1 VU=4.8 screensfull.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2012
  

       Wow. This reads like a somehow coherent opium-fueled fever dream.   

       I regret that I have but one bun to give.
Custardguts, Mar 08 2012
  

       Could this technology be adapted to almonds? Of course, the almonds would have to be much bigger than usual.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2012
  

       Not necessarily. It may be possible to breed miniature giant wasps.
mouseposture, Mar 08 2012
  

       Only if the almonds are fresh. Robot rhinoceroses will have no truck with less-than-fresh giant space almonds.
Alterother, Mar 08 2012
  

       There's a truck??
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 08 2012
  

       Not unless the almonds are fresh.
Alterother, Mar 09 2012
  

       How? Rude gestures?
mouseposture, Mar 10 2012
  

       This is slightly less absurd than the premise in Bruce Willis' Armageddon movie. Rhinoceros, armadillo, close enough.
RayfordSteele, Mar 11 2012
  

       The difference being, of course, that the movie 'Armageddon' was intended to be absurd, whereas this proposal is entirely serious in nature. I've got federal funding and everything.
Alterother, Mar 13 2012
  

       //I've got federal funding// So you're the bugger whose been getting it all, damn your eyes.
mouseposture, Mar 13 2012
  

       //I've got federal funding and everything//   

       I thought welfare was a State responsibility in the US?
AusCan531, Mar 14 2012
  

       What can I say? Asteroids are a hot-button issue in this year's election.
Alterother, Mar 14 2012
  

       When you have Klingons for candidates, that happens.
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2012
  

       //Klingons for candidates// They would like you to think that. Actually, they're Ferengi.
mouseposture, Mar 24 2012
  

       Course, you could just set the asteroid on fire. That will bring the robo-rhinos run... er ... on an intercepting trajectory.
BunsenHoneydew, Apr 07 2012
  

       That would require the installation of artificial trees for skittish blonde women to scramble up. The sexy-spacesuit budget alone would be a deal-killer.
Alterother, Apr 07 2012
  
      
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