# Vaporize dangerous asteroid

#### GTOM

Lets suppose a space station is threatened by a meteor or some kind of space debris, and the station couldnt be moved fast enough. Could lasers, or particle beams become a realistic solution for that situation in not so far future?

It talked about a GJ power, although i am not sure it is credible enough.

Lets suppose we have only 10 MJ. If i calculate correctly 10 MJ is enough to vaporize 1kg of titanium in vacuum.
Could be the vapor, or melted metal still dangerous, or would it disperse fast enough? Or redirect the dangerous object with steam pressure?

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#### mfb

Mentor
Liquid vs. solid doesn't make a difference for an impact, but vapor will spread out really fast and won't be a threat.
Or redirect the dangerous object with steam pressure?
You get a bit of propulsion from ablating the surface, but doing that in a directed way will be very challenging.

#### etudiant

Gold Member
All depends on how much of a nudge is needed.
A pebble is a lot different from a boulder or from a mountain, yet if one can apply the nudge early enough, a miss can be achieved even with just a small impulse.
Iirc, NASA has proposed diverting potentially hazardous bodies simply by having a diversionary spacecraft fly near it and shift the trajectory by its gravitational pull. The challenge is to find the hazardous items early enough that one can try to deal with them without dubious brute force methods.

#### tech99

Gold Member
Lets suppose a space station is threatened by a meteor or some kind of space debris, and the station couldnt be moved fast enough. Could lasers, or particle beams become a realistic solution for that situation in not so far future?

It talked about a GJ power, although i am not sure it is credible enough.

Lets suppose we have only 10 MJ. If i calculate correctly 10 MJ is enough to vaporize 1kg of titanium in vacuum.
Could be the vapor, or melted metal still dangerous, or would it disperse fast enough? Or redirect the dangerous object with steam pressure?
What about the equal and opposite reaction on the space station?

#### GTOM

What about the equal and opposite reaction on the space station?
The station has bigger mass and better cooling.

#### Xforce

Is it also possible to impact the asteroid with large railguns? Even the asteroid isn’t obliterated, it still passes a lot of kinetic energy to the asteroid, thus changing its trajectory.
Actually, if we can harvest the resources of the incoming asteroid, it is a mountain of precious metals and minerals, including things that are very rare on earth... in this case, we pull the asteroid to orbit around earth, and mine the resources on it. It also saves delta-V to redirect an incoming asteroid towards earth than seeking them in deep space or asteroid belt...

#### tech99

Gold Member
Are you sure you want to do this? If you had vapourised the asteroid which created the Chicxulub crater 66 million years ago you would have stopped the descent of man.

"Vaporize dangerous asteroid"

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