One of the ‘no-brainer’ applications for a Space Elevator is the ability to quickly launch large quantities of ‘stuff” into orbit and beyond, ‘stuff’ that may be needed to change the orbit or destroy an asteroid headed our way.
Of course, we need to be able to see these little ‘cosmic challenges’ before we can do anything about them. And that makes this article interesting;
“Canada is building the world’s first space telescope designed to detect and track asteroids as well as satellites. Called NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite), this spacecraft will provide a significant improvement in surveillance of asteroids that pose a collision hazard with Earth and innovative technologies for tracking satellites in orbit high above our planet.”
The article goes on to say that they are expecting to launch this satellite in 2010.