20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid

One idea on how to change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid, is the scenario worked out by Edward Lu and Stanley Love at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 2005. A 20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid by simply hovering near the asteroid.

The steady thrust of the spacecraft, would gradually and predictably alter the course of the tug and asteroid.



Ion drives do power existing spacecraft and a gravitational tractor would work regardless of the asteroid’s structure or surface properties.

via apod