Another idea joins the list of blueprints for preventing an asteroid impact!
This time it is a theory that scientists could ‘lasso’ the incoming space rock. In April 2009, David French, a doctoral candidate in aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), has thought up a way to divert asteroids and other threatening objects from hitting the earth. Just by attaching a long tether and ballast to the incoming object ‘you change the object’s centre of mass, effectively changing the object’s orbit and allowing it to pass by the earth, rather than impacting it’, French explained.
His hypothetical solution joins a long list of potential ways in avoiding a future lethal impact. Previous ideas (all covered within this site) include, hitting it with a nuke, landing an engine to thrust it off trajectory, painting one side so the sun’s heat will cause it to shift, attaching space solar sail, the use of a gravitational ‘tractor’ to mention a few.
BUT, if we cannot see the punch coming, what use is even the most innovative defense system? These “comforting” ideas are all very well, and could one day actually save our planet from the inevitable catastrophe it faces; But without the foresight to have an adequate early warning system in place these ingenious ideas could be moot. Funding for this research is still drastically shy of achieving our goal to find all incoming space missiles… never mind turning a blue print into reality!!!