NASA is partnering with Honeybee Robotics to create a real life, asteroid-shooting space gun. While that name conjures up images of the Star Wars death ray or a destructive laser beam, the space gun will actually not be used to destroy or deter the course of asteroids. Instead, the gun will continuously shoot projectile balls at the giant rocks to determine how dense they are and if they are safe enough for a probe landing. These landings will carry out rock sampling to study the materials of each asteroid.
Appealing to our sci-fi imaginations, the space gun will incredibly aim, fire and function while rotating in orbit. The asteroid samples collected will be a vital component in NASA's ensuing exploration of Mars, while the gun itself will eventually help with its 'Asteroid Redirect Mission.'