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November 18, 2016

Undergraduate devises strategy for defending Earth from cometary impacts -- Astronomy Now

By molly cruz

Zhang’s award-winning work, and the focus of his aforementioned paper, examines the potential use of directed energy for comet deflection. Adapting and applying in a new way technology developed at UCSB by Lubin and his group for planetary defence against asteroids, and for relativistic spacecraft propulsion for interstellar flight, the undergraduate scholar demonstrated that a comet could be manipulated to mitigate a potential impact with ...

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Zhang’s award-winning work, and the focus of his aforementioned paper, examines the potential use of directed energy for comet deflection. Adapting and applying in a new way technology developed at UCSB by Lubin and his group for planetary defence against asteroids, and for relativistic spacecraft propulsion for interstellar flight, the undergraduate scholar demonstrated that a comet could be manipulated to mitigate a potential impact with Earth by heating it with a high-powered laser array.



Authors Bio:
Born in Long Island public school year in Sweden as exchange student, went to Harvard one year, Cooper Union in NYC as Art student. Have two children, one of whom is rock mogul, the other has three daughters, one of whom has two daughters, making me a great grandmother at 68, very proud. For twenty years I operated a private primary school, Orchard School, in Santa Cruz CA. Still going strong but I'm retired and write much of the time. Strong believer in the space program and our subconscious quest as a species to prevent celestial onslaughts of one kind and another, for which it is my conviction that we have developed nuclear power, though we've had to use false wars to do so; in the end I believe we'll redeem ourselves in this way, which is why I find the abandonment of the shuttle program so sad. The Russians will do the honors with the next menace from Heaven, or have said that they will. In any case, nothing matters much if we don't, not the debt ceiling, pollution, nothing. All moot.

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