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Pioneering engineers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are developing an innovative technique, based on lasers, that could radically change asteroid deflection technology.

The research has unearthed the possibility of using a swarm of relatively small satellites flying in formation and cooperatively firing solar-powered lasers onto an asteroid – this would overcome the difficulties associated with current methods that are focused on large unwieldy spacecraft.

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Also: Learn about a sample-collecting comet harpoon.

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