Yes, we all know that the 1998 Michael Bay flick Armageddon is a masterpiece of cinema, but two years ago we asked ourselves this question: How much does it actually hold up as a blueprint for preventing planetary destruction?
Let’s say it doesn’t: What can we do to keep from going the way of the dinosaurs?
Nobody was better suited to answer our many questions than Professor K.T. Ramesh. He told us about a future test mission called DART. Armed with a spacecraft the size of a golf cart, it could have potential to save humanity.
Two years later, DART has launched, and we thought it was a hell of a time to revisit this Best of the Best episode.
In Episode 66, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why, apparently, we shouldn’t just blow up asteroids.
Our guest is Professor K.T. Ramesh, who is a professor of mechanical engineering at John Hopkins, founding director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), and our new hero. You can think of HEMI as a real-life Avengers (no, we’re not just stuck on Endgame), except every member is like Bruce Banner without all the Hulk-iness or Tony Stark if he was never kidnapped by terrorists. Every day, they’re working to protect people, structures, and the planet, exploring a number of topics that are both critically important and impenetrably complicated.
One of their newest studies reveals that Hollywood and Atari may, in fact, have been incorrect when they repeatedly suggested that one viable way to defend the planet from an incoming asteroid would be blowing it up. We don’t know about you, but we certainly feel lied to – so it’s refreshing to have this conversation with Professor Ramesh to set the record straight.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Avocado Green Brands, where sustainability comes first. They craft their GOTS certified organic mattresses, pillows, and bedding with natural materials sourced from their organic farms in India, in their own clean-energy powered facility in Los Angeles, where their team shares a singular purpose: To raise the bar for what it means to be a sustainable business.
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Important, Not Important Book Club:
- Learn more about Professor Ramesh & HEMI: https://hemi.jhu.edu/the-hemi-team/leadership/k-t-ramesh/
- “If We Blow Up an Asteroid, It Might Put Itself Back Together”: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/science/asteroids-nuclear-weapons.html
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jhu_hemi
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HopkinsExtreme/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kt-ramesh-4a9b054/
- Listen to Radiolab’s Dinopocalypse ep: https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/dinopocalypse
- Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission: https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart
- Watch Brian’s morning show on IGS: https://www.instagram.com/importantnotimportant
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- Intro/outro by Tim Blane: timblane.com
Important, Not Important is produced by Crate Media