Invisible tow for asteroids

Two Nasa astronauts have proposed sending space tugs to tow away asteroids so they cannot threaten the Earth.
Shuttle spacemen Edward Lu and Stanley Love say a 20-ton rocket could deflect a 200-yard wide rock in about a year just by flying alongside it.
They would not need any tow rope – just the gravitational attraction between the two objects would be enough to steer the asteroid off its deadly course.
The astronauts’ rescue plan, revealed in the magazine Nature, would not help deal with a cosmic rock found just a few months before an impact.
Last month, Nasa revealed it is ready to launch an Armegeddon-style missile attack on a quarter-mile-wide rock named Apophis if further studies show that it will slam into the Earth in 2036.
An impact by the asteroid would create a crater the size of a city and cause widespread devastation.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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