How to deflect an incoming asteroid
October 28, 2012
Send space-launched white paint balls on pellets, says Sung Wook Paek, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The pellets would deflect the asteroid and the white surface (albedo) would continue to reflect sunlight — and in 20 years, this bouncing of photons off its surface could create enough of a force to push the asteroid off its course.
Paek won the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition, sponsored by the United Nations’ Space Generation Advisory Council.