I found this to be an interesting read, does this article acknowledge there is a rock with our name on it?, I would think so, it's nice to know that
they are working on a counter measure though.
This is my first post people so if there are any mistakes I apologize, last thing I want to do Is post rubbish, cheers.
I am also having trouble embedding the video from my YouTube channel to here, so any help would be great.
Researchers have honed laser technology to be able to slow, stop, and reverse the rotation of an asteroid-like target in a simulated space
environment. The findings could potentially help deflect Earth-bound asteroids in the event of a major-impact threat.
The DE-STAR (Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation) can, among other uses, stop the rotation of a spinning asteroid,
according to small-scale, graphic demonstrations by the Experimental Cosmology Group, led by UC Santa Barbara physicist Philip Lubin and Gary B.
Hughes, a researcher and professor at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
In order to simulate the laser's deflection capabilities, researchers used basalt, which is composed of materials similar to those of an asteroid.
The team directed a laser at the basalt until it began to turn from a mineral to a gas. As the "asteroid" lost mass, it became a propellant.
What happens is a process called sublimation or vaporization, which turns a solid or liquid into a gas,” said Travis Brashears, a student at the
University of California-Berkeley involved in the research. “That gas causes a plume cloud — mass ejection — which generates an opposite and
equal reaction or thrust — and that’s what we measure.”
Magnets were used to spin the basalt, simulating a rotating asteroid. The laser system was also used to slow the rotation of the target.
“Our video shows the basalt sample slowing down, stopping and changing direction and then spinning up again,” said Brashears. “That’s how much
force we’re getting. It’s a nice way to show this process and to demonstrate that de-spinning an asteroid is actually possible as predicted in our
Lubin said DE-STAR could also be employed for space exploration or mining.
“All asteroids rotate; it’s just a question of relative to whom and how fast. To mine an asteroid, it needs to be moving slowly enough so you can
capture it,” Lubin said. “Our lab experiments show very graphically a practical way to de-spin or redirect an asteroid. It’s a vivid
demonstration that the technique works very well.”
NASA's Sentry system monitors potential asteroid collisions with Earth. The system analyzes potential impacts over the next 100 years, continually
updating the Sentry Risk Table to provide accurate information on objects recently and not recently observed.
In May, NASA announced that it would launch an asteroid capture mission within the next decade. The plan will involve capturing and redirecting an
asteroid into Earth's orbit where it can be examined by astronauts.
“If we can do that and we get it into stable lunar orbit, we will have done something that is dramatically informative to humanity and may lead to
the development of sustainable technologies that will then be able to save the planet,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at the time.