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.

31 January 2007

Ed Lu states the Gravity Tractor can be built for $200-300M

UPDATE (08 February 2007): Ed tells me not to take the $200M-300M figure as an exact estimate for the gravity tractor (potential misquote from the reporter). I think these issues point out that good system designs of actual missions that include all major disciplines (including cost and operations) need to be performed on many asteroid mitigation techniques.


My question: Do we have a mission design that this cost estimate is based on? How was this cost estimate arrived at?

"NASA astronaut and former University of Hawaii solar physicist Edward Lu is calling for a new spacecraft that would divert asteroids on a path to slam into Earth...The small space tractor, costing between $200 million and $300 million, would hover near an asteroid to exert enough gravitational pull that the space rock's orbit would change and a collision with our planet would be averted, Lu said before a crowd packed into a 300-capacity auditorium at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Monday night."

"Astronaut Calls for Asteroid Defense"
Associated Press
25 January 2007

Link: Article

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