The non-profit organization, The Aerospace Corporation, has developed a concept that could be used to alter the course of asteroids that pose a threat to Earth. It involves a catapult-like solution designed to land on asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth.

The Aerospace Corporation

Once the catapult has landed on an asteroid, the idea is for it to start excavating material from the surface of the asteroid and then ejecting it into space, giving the asteroid a slight nudge and altering its direction. This process would be repeated until the asteroid has changed its trajectory enough to avoid colliding with Earth. According to The Aerospace Corporation, this process could take weeks for smaller asteroids and months for slightly larger ones.

Project leader Nahum Melamed says that the idea for a catapult defense against asteroids came after observing how the American space company SpinLaunch plans to launch satellites into space using a catapult. They further state that they believe this concept would be more cost-effective than sending a spacecraft to collide with a threatening asteroid, as NASA did with its DART project, to alter its course.

The Aerospace Corporation also sees potential for their hypothetical catapults to be used for mining. The idea is that the catapults would launch the material they excavate from an asteroid to spacecraft in orbit around the asteroid, which could then transport the material back to Earth or another suitable location. The Aerospace Corporation plans to test its catapult solution in a simulation on Earth within two years.

Afterwards, they hope to test the system on the moon sometime in the future. However, there is currently no information available about the timeline for these tests. Currently, NASA monitors 28,000 so-called near-Earth objects. None of these are considered a threat to Earth in the next hundred years, as reported by Gizmodo.

Christopher Mansfield is a content writer at He creates, edits and manages the production of digital and print content that is consistent with the organization’s brand, style and tone....

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