Swarm of pebbles could safely deflect asteroids
- 05 May 2012
- Magazine issue 2863. Subscribe and save
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FLINGING pebbles at an asteroid sounds like a fruitless task, but a new calculation shows that this could deflect an Earthbound rock.
It takes surprisingly little force to deflect an asteroid, provided it is done several years before the projected impact. Previous ideas have included landing an engine on the asteroid to push it away from a collision, and using mirrors or lasers to vaporise its surface and provide thrust to shift its course.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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