An anonymous reader writes to tell us that following the news of NASA's budget cuts
impacting their ability to do things like watch the sky for asteroids, a British company has decided to create a "gravity tractor" ship that could divert asteroids away from Earth
if the need should arise. Of course, a gravity tractor certainly isn't a new idea
. "Dr. Cordey said the company had worked with a number of space authorities on other methods of protecting the Earth from asteroids, but this one would be able to target a wider range. He said: 'We have done quite a lot of design work on this with the European Space Agency and we believe this would work just as well on a big solid iron asteroid as well as other types.' But the high cost implications mean that before the device could be made, it would have to be commissioned by a government or a group of governments working together."