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[cdn-nucl-l] Re: cdn-nucl-l digest, Vol 1 #154 - 1 msg
This is in reply to Canada's keeping track of asteroids and the question of what we could do about one that could hit the earth.
While working on the SP100 space power system project I conceived the plan to develop an asteroid mover which would use the 100 kw electrical power system to power an arc jet rocket like we developed at General Electric back in the 1950s. It is an electric arc using argon or nitrogen gas for the jet having a range of 300 to 600 Isp. If we had one of these all set up ready for launch and rendezvous early enough with the asteroid it could be attached to the asteroid and boost it out of an earth collision orbit. Of course we can't wait the ten years it would take to build and ready one for launch after the asteroid has been observed on a collision course. One would think there are enough resources on this earth to build such a system and have it available on standby, just in case. Ed Sayre