Science: Space: Orbit
Earth Ring   (+1, -2)  [vote for, against]
Fashionable Planetary Defense

There have been plenty of schemes for protecting the earth from a stray comet or asteroid but not many of them suggest what to do with it afterwards.

Using a really big rocket to decelerate and aim the rogue rock, you would put it into a geostationary orbit. Once there you get a series of explosives to break it up into small chunks (careful of other satellites of course). If you managed to do this often enough you could give the Earth a Saturn style ring.

This would not only look amazing but you could also use it as a marker to show accurately where commsats are supposed to be.
-- Alphaman, Oct 23 2002

NASA news on space debris. http://windows.arc...._debris_update.html
Err...a load of junk? [DrBob, Oct 23 2002]

Article about the perils of space junk. http://www.davemcna.../Devo/SpaceJunk.asp
Are we not men? [DrBob, Oct 23 2002]

More work every day for these folks Near_20Earth_20Orbi...ation_20Corporation
[normzone, Dec 28 2006]

The Obstacle Race To Space.
-- calum, Oct 23 2002

//fill an asteroid belt like this with air //

Yeah and then you could run all the satelites on wind turbines instead of solar panels
-- Alphaman, Oct 23 2002

I believe that the Earth already has a Saturn style ring. It's made up of flecks of paint, old rocket boosters, discarded spanners and bits of the Mir space station. I don't believe that it's considered a navigational aid.
-- DrBob, Oct 23 2002

fling up a few mushroom spores to give us a fairy ring.
-- po, Oct 23 2002

Fungal spores can pretty much make it up there on their own steam. Money spiders run them a close second.
-- DrBob, Oct 23 2002

<g>And I thought //Money Spiders// (Standard and Poors Index Derivatives) were only available on the American Stock Exchange. The contrary spate of "rational exuberance" we've seen the last two years has kept them decidedly earth-bound.<g>
-- jurist, Oct 24 2002

//fill an asteroid belt like this with air// - how exactly? We've only just got enough to go round.

Why not simply capture enough meteors and comets and, eventually, you'll have a passable ring. You won't need to explode anything.

-- PeterSilly, Oct 24 2002

// You won't need to explode anything. //

Awwwww, spoilsport.

//flecks of paint, old rocket boosters, discarded spanners and bits of the Mir space station.//

Plus Shergar and Elvis, according to the National Enquirer ......
-- 8th of 7, Oct 24 2002

// fill an asteroid belt like this with air //

Picture a giant inflatable swim ring around the earth. That's lovely.
-- waugsqueke, Oct 24 2002

[waugs] - that's what I saw too - a big rubber inflatable ring. The only problems, mine was a garish yellow and red and did funny things to tides.
-- PeterSilly, Oct 24 2002

//equivalent of throwing breezeblocks//

The point is that the bits and pieces of rock are in geostationary orbit and so don't move with respect to other more important man made bits and pieces.
-- Alphaman, Oct 24 2002

Money Spiders? Do they pass out this money or do you have to catch them and demand a wish like when getting gold from leprechauns?

If the idea is to get a ring around the earth, why not kill two birds with one stone... let's ship all our garbage up there and make that into a solid ring, and then we won't have to deal with landfills any more. Then the ring can become land, we fill it wit air as suggested and voila! We've got more habitable space.
-- Aurora, Oct 24 2002

Question: what would this ring do to our tides?
-- RayfordSteele, Oct 25 2002

//equivalent of throwing breezeblocks//

Absolutely. This idea is terrible because:

Safety: Geostationary orbit is only 36,000km. That's well inside the moon's orbit, i.e. far too close to the earth to bring in big chunks of rock and blow them up.

Safety2: They'd be a hazard to navigation. If they slipped out of orbit you'd face possible damage to polar orbit satellites or a surface impact - the very thing they you were trying to avoid.

Commercial: Geostationary orbit forms a very valuable ring of real estate. It only occurs in one altitude and only over the equator. This is the only place where you can put satellites that have to talk to fixed orientation dishes. Filling it with big chunks of rock makes poor commercial sense.
-- st3f, Oct 25 2002

But you could put advertising on it!
-- snarfyguy, Oct 25 2002

Sounds like you want to take some raw materials to make a platform for all our geospace objects. In the movie Startrooper, they had all the large ships dock at a ring around the moon.

Have you ever noticed that all the planetary rings are around gas giants? since they have more of a fluid mechanisum, they offer a more stable area for rings to form. Such rings may not be possible for earth & her sister worlds.
-- the great unknown, Jan 09 2007

random, halfbakery