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

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.”

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

3 comments

  • 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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