Russian scientists have proposed a novel new way to protect the Earth from deadly asteroid collisions.
The technique would involve towing several small asteroids in to orbit around the Earth so that in the event that a larger asteroid is found to be on a collision course, one of the smaller ones could be lined up to collide with it - a veritable cosmic billiards table. The idea is not really all that far fetched given that NASA is planning on towing an asteroid in to orbit around the Earth so that astronauts can land on it.
"I was skeptical about it myself, until we actually tried to do computer modeling of the situation," said Russian scientist Natan Eismont. To line the smaller asteroid up with the incoming larger one, it would be necessary to launch an unmanned Proton rocket to land on it along with several tons of fuel. Igniting the fuel at the right time would then tweak the asteroid's orbit sufficiently to put it on a collision course with the approaching threat.
"The meteorite that blew up over Russia’s Urals in mid-February, leaving 1,500 injured, came as a striking reminder of how vulnerable we are on our small, blue planet."
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Source: Ria Novosti
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