CORVALLIS, Ore. - NASA astronaut Stanley G. Love will discuss asteroids, how we might send people to explore them, and how to protect the Earth from them in a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Wednesday, June 5.

The presentation, "Near-Earth Asteroids: Threats and Opportunities," will be in LaSells Stewart Center's Construction and Engineering Hall beginning at 4 p.m.

Asteroids have been of recent interest with the fireball above the Ural Mountains in Russia, the near-Earth passing of Asteroid 2012 DA14, and the upcoming pass of Asteroid 1998 QE2.

Love, a graduate of Churchill High School in Eugene, is the co-inventor of the "gravity tractor," a novel method to controllably modify the orbits of hazardous asteroids.

He also flew in space for more than 12 days on the space shuttle Atlantis in 2008, including two spacewalks, 203 Earth orbits, and operation of the shuttle's robotic arms while working on the International Space Station.

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Mark Huey, 541-737-8260