wordpress counter


IT’S NOT JUST IN YOUR MIND!

Gravitational tow truck for world-shattering asteroids

How would you change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid?
gravitasOne possibility – a massive spacecraft that uses gravity as a towline – is illustrated in this artist’s vision (Dan Durda (FIAAA, B612 Foundation)) of a gravitational tractor in action.
In the hypothetical scenario worked out in 2005 by Edward Lu and Stanley Love at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a 20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid by simply hovering near the asteroid.
The spacecraft’s ion drive thrusters are canted away from the surface. Their slight but steady thrust would gradually and predictably alter the course of the tug and asteroid, coupled by their mutual gravitational attraction. …
Given sufficient warning and time, a gravitational tractor could deflect the path of an asteroid known to be on a collision course enough to miss planet Earth.

SEE COMPLETE TEXT

Be Sociable, Share!




  • Perspective: Is coronavirus a sign from an exasperated God?
  • The new utopians, like the old, are plunging world into 'chaos and hatred'
  • 'Substantial emptiness': Goodbye right and wrong, hello Caliphate
  • 'For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour'
  • The cultural roots of our secularized society: What is Judaism?
  • 'Good-bye America'
  • 'Feel the fear': Youth push climate change