Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids

  title={Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids},
  author={Ed Lu and Stanley Glen Love},
  • E. LuS. Love
  • Published 20 September 2005
  • Physics, Geology
  • Nature
We present a design concept for a spacecraft that can controllably alter the trajectory of an Earth-threatening asteroid by using gravity as a towline. The spacecraft hovers near the asteroid, with its thrusters angled outwards so that the exhaust does not impinge on the surface. This proposed deflection method is insensitive to the structure, surface properties and rotation state of the asteroid. 

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Earth Impactors: Orbital Characteristics and Warning Times, Mitigation of Hazardous Comets and Asteroids, editors Belton, M.J.S

  • 2004