Let's just say we won't be needing to call this team when an asteroid is nearing us. A swarm of tiny spacecraft might just do the job.
That's the finding of Alison Gibbings and Massimiliano Vasile, a pair of aerospace engineers at the UK's University of Strathclyde. Their idea is to send a swarm of spacecraft all roughly the size of a pebble at an oncoming asteroid.
New Scientists says that 500 kilograms worth of the spacecraft could push a 250 meter wide asteroid at least 35,000 kilometers off its course. And that would be more than enough to make it not collide with Earth.
The swarm of spacecraft could be ferried from Earth to the asteroid in one big rocket. Once there, the swarm could form a sort of cloud-like shape around the asteroid, running off solar power and slowly guiding the asteroid off course.
It's much better than trying to land on the asteroid and drilling a hole in it to plant a nuclear bomb. Anyone would agree.
As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the great tech we’ve seen in 2015. There have been some new developments and mind-blowing reveals. I’ve picked out a few things that I saw this year, and will definitely keep an eye on next year. Here’s my look at some exciting tech to watch out for in 2016: Read more
SpaceX has competition. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a company similar to SpaceX, called Blue Origin. The company just launched its New Shepard rocket into space and then, successfully landed it back on Earth. Read more