Asteroids

Selected News on Asteroids and Ed Lu

for more information see the B612 Foundation website.  

Why we need to find asteroids before they find us.

Read my article in Scientific American on finding and tracking asteroids.

“Gravity Tractor” Could Deflect Earth-Bound Asteroids

A spacecraft could use a gravity “towline” to alter the course of an Earth- bound asteroid, a new study by two NASA astronauts suggests.

Previous schemes to deflect an incoming space rock range from landing a spacecraft on the asteroid and pushing it off course to blowing it up with nuclear weapons.

The new plan takes a gentler approach. A spacecraft would hover above the asteroid and gradually pull it off course using nothing more than the gravitational attraction between the two bodies.

“If an asteroid is found to be at an impact trajectory with Earth … you will have many decades of notice. And it turns out that you only need to change its velocity by a very small amount in order to prevent a collision,” said Edward Lu, a NASA astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

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“Gravity Tractor,” Super Telescopes Enlisted to Battle Killer Asteroids

A spacecraft could use a gravity “towline” to alter the course of an Earth- bound asteroid, a new study by two NASA astronauts suggests. Previous schemes to deflect an incoming space rock range from landing a spacecraft on the asteroid and pushing it off course to blowing it up with nuclear weapons.

The new plan takes a gentler approach. A spacecraft would hover above the asteroid and gradually pull it off course using nothing more than the gravitational attraction between the two bodies.”If an asteroid is found to be at an impact trajectory with Earth … you will have many decades of notice.

And it turns out that you only need to change its velocity by a very small amount in order to prevent a collision,” said Edward Lu, a NASA astronaut at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

READ MORE >
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