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Laser Bees in Space – Asteroid Defenders

The Planetary Society, CEO Bill Nye (The Science Guy) , has partnered with researchers to come up with an absolutely awesome way to combat near Earth objects on a collision course with our planet. Laser Bees.

Before you conjure up thoughts of Dr. Evil and a moon base and “lasers”, these bees are real. These aren’t normal honey bees with lasers attached to their torsos. They are high tech mini satellites that shoot sun beams that are focused using lasers towards oncoming space rocks in hopes that it will push them out of the way and save the Earth from danger.

Scientists have been thinking of ways to disrupt the flight of asteroids for some time now. Methods include nuclear warheads, solar wind sails and Project NEOShield.

The laser beams would vaporize surface rock and create mini jets that would then propel the larger space rock away from our home planet. Sounds like science fiction doesn’t it? The scientists at  Universities of Strathclyde and of Glasgow have been working on this project for some time now and have a lab set up with experimental equipment to test their theories.

Their preliminary tests have concluded that this method is more effective than initially thought.

The team will attach force sensors to the rocks to measure the force imparted. They want to see if the lasers will be able to continue with a steady amount of force even in an environment that’s full of asteroid debris.

What are your thoughts? Is this idea crazy or does it seem like a feasible option?

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