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March 29, 2012

Scientists propose a 'shield against asteroids' using squadrons of small satellites

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) have found a more effective method to create a 'shield against asteroids' in space around Earth to avoid impacts on the planet.

Currently research is aimed at creating huge-and impractical for this mission-spacecraft with large laser devices on the ends.

But researchers at Glasgow have reached the conclusion that it would better to use a small satellite squadrons 'combat' capable of accompanying the asteroid and shoot simultaneously with high power lasers from a short distance.

Among the advantages of this idea is shown that is easier to create a large fleet smaller than a ship and, secondly, in the event that one of the satellites is damaged see column of waste produced by the collision of the laser beams against floor of the asteroid, others can continue their work unhindered.

The danger is real. The space objects of medium size, white satellite system, are capable of causing visible damage to the Earth. Just a century ago an asteroid 30 to 50 meters in diameter destroyed life in an area of ​​2,000 km in a village in Siberia, Tunguska.

Besides fighting the stones from the cosmos, the British project has another practical application. Scientists hope to be able to neutralize or lower the orbit of space debris, such devices that threaten the devices in the near-Earth space, such as the International Space Station, which recently managed to avoid a dangerous clash of that type.

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