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February 16 2013

Laser-blasting System Could Vaporize Big Asteroids

The uncanny — but unrelated — combination of today’s close flyby of Asteroid 2012 DA14 and the meteor that created an airburst event over Russia has many wondering how we could deal with future potential threats to Earth from space. A group of researchers are hoping to aim a laser-blasting vaporizer in its direction and blow it away.

Dubbed DE-STAR, or Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation, the theoretical orbital system is designed to convert the sun’s energy into laser blasts that would annihilate any cosmic intruders bearing down on Earth.

Although the system sounds like a plot from a science fiction movie, the researchers — led by scientists at two California universities — maintain that it is built on sound principles.

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