After the double-whammy of a meteorite hitting Russia and a near-miss with an asteroid, some scientists have been thinking over how to deal with space rocks. A team of California scientists is offering up an answer that sounds a little, uh, familiar.
UC Santa Barbara physicist Philip M. Lubin and California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo researcher Gary B. Hughes have unveiled plans for DE-STAR (cough, cough), or Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation. The system, they say, could slowly vaporize earth-bound rocks over the course of as much as a year. From a UC Santa Barbara news release (emphasis mine):