This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

28 February 2006

B612 Foundation's Preferred Mitigation Concept: Gravity Tractor

Here are some comments from B612 Foundation Chairman Russell Schweickart, it seems the gravity tractor is now their preferred mitigation concept (in place of the VASIMR plasma rocket with nuclear reactors):

- "Clearly the gravity tractor concept, with no new technology needed and no detailed knowledge needed re asteroid characteristics, can be accomplished in relatively short order, provided the money and motivation (or authorization, in the case of NASA) is available."

- "This mission, however, is far simpler than most Discovery class missions since it need carry virtually no scientific payloads, and Discovery missions fall in the $300M realm. At the moment we’re looking at what options for getting this mission underway make most sense."

- "Yes, the gravity tractor can be built and tested now, and by coincidence should we actually need an Apophis deflection (unlikely but possible) the gravity tractor is capable of doing the deflection job."

Link: Article

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