Another article on the EADS Astrium implementation of a Gravity Tractor. Selections from the article...
Dr Ralph Cordey, who is EADS Astrium's head of exploration and business, told BBC News that the concept of a gravity tug was actually first mooted by two Nasa astronauts, Edward Lu and Stanley Love, a few years ago.
He said: "Frankly, I thought it was crackers. I thought it would never work."
But he said after reconsidering the idea and focusing on specific engineering issues, including the size of the spacecraft, and long-term propulsion methods, it was considered by the team to be potentially feasible.
Dr Cordey said the company had worked with a number of space authorities on other methods of protecting the Earth from asteroids but this one would be able to target a wider range.
He said: "We have done quite a lot of design work on this with the European Space Agency and we believe this would work just as well on a big solid iron asteroid as well as other types."
But the high cost implications mean that before the device could be made, it would have to be commissioned by a government or a group of governments working together.
Link: BBC News Article interview
Link: BBC News Article
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