College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Change Agent: Bong Wie

Bong Wie sent his hands flying, simulating an explosion right there in his Howe Hall office. If his ideas become reality and spacecraft carrying nuclear explosives fly into asteroids one day, “The asteroid can be pulverized – not just fragmented – into dust!” he said, his hands going wild.

Blasting asteroids: ISU team works to defend against “city-killers”

On this River to River segment, Ben Kieffer talks with Professor Bong Wei about the threat of asteroids and how researchers at Iowa State University are working to develop technologies to prevent asteroids from colliding with Earth. Wei recently helped conduct a three-year study on the feasibility of rapidly intercepting and nuking an incoming asteroid.

Helpful tips for nuking an asteroid

The worst-case scenario might be if we discovered an asteroid only a couple of weeks away from slamming into us. Brent Barbee, a flight dynamics engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, believes he has the answer: an interplanetary ballistic missile. Barbee and Bong Wie, the founding director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center and …Continue reading “Helpful tips for nuking an asteroid”

Aerospace engineering professor published in Aerospace America

How would a scientist go about destroying an asteroid or comet, also known as NEOs, headed toward a major city on Earth? Bong Wie, aerospace engineering professor and Asteroid Deflection Center founder, offered advice on the situation in the January 2015 issue of Aerospace America. Though experts expect Earth to be struck every 100 million years by …Continue reading “Aerospace engineering professor published in Aerospace America”

Researchers study distances from Earth, the use of nuclear weapons to destroy anticipated asteroids

On Feb. 15, 2013, an asteroid exploded over Russia that was believed to be 19 meters in diameter. The asteroid struck the city of Chelyabinsk and injured more than 1,000 people, according to The Chelyabinsk asteroid caused panic around the world. It sparked a serious international interest in developing a plan for what to …Continue reading “Researchers study distances from Earth, the use of nuclear weapons to destroy anticipated asteroids”

Mysterious forces make this asteroid ‘blast-proof’

This near-earth asteroid may pass close to our planet within this millennium, and attempting to blast it to pieces may not be the wisest thing to do. Unknown forces apart from gravity That’s because asteroid (29075) 1950 DA, a “rubble-pile” asteroid, is held together by cohesive forces apart from gravity, according to a report on …Continue reading “Mysterious forces make this asteroid ‘blast-proof’”

How Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Killer Asteroids

The most destructive weapon humanity has ever developed could help our species avoid going the way of the dinosaurs. Pretty much any asteroid that poses a threat to Earth can be blasted out of the heavens using a nuclear bomb, even with warning times of a week or less, say a team of scientists who have been …Continue reading “How Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Killer Asteroids”

Anti-asteroid nuke gains steam

A plan by an Iowa State University professor to save the planet from a meteor collision continues to streak toward reality. The problem being puzzled over at the Asteroid Deflection Research Center in Ames would devastate humanity: an asteroid hurtling toward the planet, detected too late to be able to use other means to knock …Continue reading “Anti-asteroid nuke gains steam”

Six NASA scholarships awarded to undergraduate students

Six students from the College of Engineering were awarded NASA scholarships for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. The funding comes through the Iowa Space Grant Consortium program. Recipients are Dalton Groath, sophomore in aerospace engineering; Jacob Harry, senior in aerospace engineering; Christian Setzer, senior in aerospace engineering and physics; Elmer Tse, junior in …Continue reading “Six NASA scholarships awarded to undergraduate students”

Iowa State engineers developing ideas, technologies to save the Earth from asteroids

Bong Wie has heard the snickers. You want to protect the Earth from asteroids? Where were you when the dinosaurs needed you? You want to be like Bruce Willis in that asteroid movie? Wie has a serious reply: After five years of science and engineering work, Wie and his small team have a publication list …Continue reading “Iowa State engineers developing ideas, technologies to save the Earth from asteroids”

CoE professor will be featured on IPTV

The research of Bong Wie, the Vance D. Coffman Chair Professor in Aerospace Engineering and Asteroid Deflection Research Center (ADRC) director, will be featured on a segment of Science Center of Iowa’s Café Scientifique. The program will be first aired on IPTV World on Monday June 11, 2012, at 8 p.m. CST, with several rebroadcast …Continue reading “CoE professor will be featured on IPTV”

ISU prof’s aim: Avert asteroid hit

Iowa State University professor Bong Wie stood in Hungary’s gilded parliament building in May with a modest plan that might one day save the planet. His idea: avert a catastrophic asteroid strike on Earth by launching a nuclear weapon to intercept the object, a difficult engineering problem that carries enormous legal, political and ethical hurdles. …Continue reading “ISU prof’s aim: Avert asteroid hit”