A group of California scientists have proposed a system to vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth.

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A group of California scientists have proposed a system to vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth.

In developing the proposal, Lubin and Hughes calculated the requirements and possibilities for DE-STAR systems of several sizes, ranging from a desktop device to one measuring 10 kilometers, or six miles, in diameter. Larger systems were also considered. The larger the system, the greater its capabilities.

For instance, DE-STAR 2 –– at 100 meters in diameter, about the size of the International Space Station –– “could start nudging comets or asteroids out of their orbits,” Hughes said. But DE-STAR 4 –– at 10 kilometers in diameter, about 100 times the size of the ISS –– could deliver 1.4 megatons of energy per day to its target, said Lubin, obliterating an asteroid 500 meters across in one year.

They also propose an even larger system which could “enable interstellar travel.”



  • D. K. Williams

    I propose a different strategy, namely slowing down a large asteroid enough to put it into terrestial orbit. I’ve envied Mars for its two moons. Of course, our calculations would need to be very precise as a really bad outcome is possible if we screwed up. I suggest this new moon be called “Zimmer.”

  • Pzatchok

    Would the world really let someone weaponize space?

  • The “world” really won’t have a say in the matter. The colonists who end up living in space will decide for themselves, and if I know humans like I think I do, they will want weapons for their own defense against those who will want weapons for their own aggressions. We can’t escape this reality, and so the better thing to do is to “let” freedom rule, and allow as much of it as possible.

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