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Be a Planetary Defender

If we work together—if we support smart science and dedicated research—then I believe you and I can truly make an asteroid strike the only avoidable natural disaster.

On February 15th of this year, an asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and a second one (2012 DA14) passed within range of our communications satellites. Two such close passes prove that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery, and must take very seriously the question of asteroid deflection.

Lasers show tremendous potential for deflecting asteroids. Let's continue to support the research!

Thanks to Planetary Society members like you supporting our Laser Bees experiment to test asteroid deflection, this is what we now know:

If you put a cube of solid rock in a vacuum chamber and subject it to a ten-minute focused beam of light from a laser, it will:

• Reach a spot temperature upwards of 7,000o F;

• Have small explosive events from the surface, ejecting fragments of rock;

• Create a jet plume of vaporized rock from below the surface in a hemispherical cone of ablated matter with impressive measurable force.

Experiments completed to date indicate that first estimates were, if anything, too conservative and that lasers show tremendous potential for deflecting asteroids. I recommend we continue to support their research. I hope that you do, too...

Please stand with The Planetary Society again and contribute to Laser Bees research. We need you!

Bill Nye's signature

-Bill Nye, CEO The Planetary Society


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