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Showing posts from August, 2013

Asteroids go home!

Here’s a way photonics could create a better world: by preventing our earth from being pulverized by an asteroid.
The terrifying arrival of a meteorite in Chelyabinsk, Russia earlier this year raised awareness (again) of the potential for a catastrophic, much bigger object to threaten earth. This one was “only” estimated at 17-20 meters in size, weighing about 10,000 tons. Nearly 1500 people sought medical attention for injuries – flying glass was the main culprit. Also, 7000 buildings were damaged. The entry into the atmosphere created a shock wave that circled the earth twice.
So it’s good news that people are applying their creativity to the problem of even bigger objects that might threaten earth – the ones we can see coming. How to destroy them before they destroy us, or simply redirect them into a new path away from our planet? It seems like a job for lasers, doesn’t it?
A NASA press release described a “mission formulation review” this week to examine concepts for each phase o…