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Gravity space tug proposed to deflect asteriods

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posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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, two NASA astronauts have presented a plan for an “asteroid tractor”—an unmanned, 20-ton spacecraft that uses the invisible bond of gravity to gently pull an asteroid into a new, non-threatening orbit.

“You can think of it like a big elastic band between the two pulling them together,” said Edward Lu, who presents the concept for the spacecraft with fellow astronaut Stanley Love in the Nov. 10 issue of the journal Nature.

The tractor would hover above the surface of the asteroid, without touching it, and use gravity as a towline. If the spacecraft maintains a consistent distance between it and the asteroid, and always tows in the same direction, this method won’t disturb the asteroid’s rotation or composition.



“The kind of spacecraft we’ve talked about could move an asteroid 650 feet (200 meters) across provided we have decades of advanced warning,” Lu said. “That’s not out of line with what you’d expect – we can predict the orbit of an asteroid decades in advance.”


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Sounds neat, I hope it's funded. We've wasted money on far more riskier things.




posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 12:08 AM
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hmmm...heres an idea that even I haven't heard of yet.

Do you think it would REALLY work...in the real world............No.

Why? because it probably takes a l-o-n-g time to use its gravity...which is a measily 20 tons.... and would have to stay there awhile...and judging by where the asteroid is...it likely wont have solar panels, so it would be nuclear. They would need a big "heads up" on the asteroid for this thing to gather funding and be constructed and shot into space and they catch up to the asteroid and sit beside it for a long time...and what if the asteroid is BIG...are ya going to be able to build a 200 ton version of it?

You would have to know what the asteroid is made out of so you can judge its weight...which would be critical, so on and so on...this idea has a lot of hurdles to overcome.

But never the less...I'm glad to see new ideas.



posted on Nov, 10 2005 @ 03:32 PM
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“The kind of spacecraft we’ve talked about could move an asteroid 650 feet (200 meters) across provided we have decades of advanced warning,” Lu said. “That’s not out of line with what you’d expect – we can predict the orbit of an asteroid decades in advance.”


Wrong. No asteroid collision has ever been predicted for less than ten years (with the exception of the 2047 one) and even then we don't know what will happen until a few months, at most, before the supposed date of collision.

This is really, really cool, but utterly stupid. It'd probably be easier to develop teleportation technology, given a number of decades, and to then teleport the asteroid away. Then we'd be alive and have teleporters.



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