If a stray space rock ever heads directly for Earth, we’re in serious trouble.
One of the best ways to protect our planet may be a laser system called Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and Exploration, or DE-STAR. It’s capable of vaporizing NEOs and knocking them off course.
The team behind DE-STAR
wants to put a giant array of lasers into Earth’s orbit and fire them
anytime an asteroid or comet comes close to Earth. They also propose a
system of smaller arrays called DE-STARLITE that can fly out and meet an
incoming asteroid or comet.
The technology for this is already available. The challenge lies in execution.