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Earth Shark Space Science

California Professors Unveil Proposal To Attack Asteroids With Lasers 161

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday's twin events with invading rocks from outer space — the close encounter with asteroid 2012 DA14, and the killer meteorite over Russia that was more than close — have brought the topic of defending mankind against killer asteroids back into the news. The Economist summarizes some of the ideas that have been bandied about, in a story that suggests Paul Simon's seventies hit "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover": Just push it aside, Clyde. Show it the nuke, Luke. Gravity tug, Doug. The new proposal is an earth orbiting, solar-powered array of laser guns called DE-STAR (Directed Energy Solar Targeting of AsteRoids) from two California-based professors, physicist Philip Lubin (UCSB) and industrial statistician Gary Hughes (Cal Polytechnic State). Lubin and Hughes say their system could be developed and deployed in a range of sizes depending on the size of the target: DE-STAR 2, about the size of the International Space Station (100 meters) could nudge comets and asteroids from their orbits, while DE-STAR 4 (100 times larger than ISS) could evaporate an asteroid 500 meters in diameter (10 times larger than 2012 DA14) in a year. Of course, this assumes that the critters could be spotted early enough for the lasers to do their work."
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California Professors Unveil Proposal To Attack Asteroids With Lasers

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  • by ionix5891 (1228718) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @08:28AM (#42921337)

    The Death Star

  • by Stormthirst (66538) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @08:39AM (#42921365)

    ... fricking lasers? Would there be sharks?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @09:01AM (#42921459)
    Why attack asteroids with lasers? Aren't asteroids without lasers dangerous enough?
  • by flyneye (84093) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @10:42AM (#42921917) Homepage

    I'm thinking Atari had it before Star Wars did. Did they channel Ronald Reagan to come up with this idea?
    There are millions of "Asteroids" champs out there just drooling to do the "space drone" piloting thingy.
    I'm thinking the government knew all along and the video game was a last ditch attempt to find the ultimate savior of the world, fully trained.
    They've known about the Asteroid attack for years, recent Islamic Prophesy masks the fact that it is entirely the work of Iranians, secretly not enriching uranium, but operating a giant electromagnet aimed at the Van Halen belt. Mohammed predicted hemmorhoids would befall sinners and politicians who drew him into the Sunday Funnies. All in all though, it boils down to a $cientologist Plot. L.Ron Hubbard went to his cupboard to get his ticket to go on a Tom Cruise. But when he got there, the cupboard grew hair, but G.Gordon Liddy grew none. It's all connected, you'll see! Or at least smell.

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