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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Meteor Blasters  
  Energy beams that would destroy space debris or rocks that lay in the path of a spacecraft.  

How to deal with space debris, with those rocks in space that popped up out of nowhere?

"...Thank God for the blasters!"

The blasters are those beams of ravening destruction which take care of recalcitrant meteorites in a ship's course when the deflectors can't handle them. They are not designed as weapons, but they can serve as pretty good ones. They can go into action at five thousand miles, and draw on the entire power output of a whole ship. With automatic aim and a traverse of five degrees, a ship like the Llanvabon can come very close to blasting a whole through a small-sized asteroid which gets in the way.

From First Contact, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Street and Smith Co. in 1945
Additional resources -

If you're wondering who had the idea of meteor-spotting radar, follow the link.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from First Contact
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to First Contact
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

Meteor Blasters-related news articles:
  - Space Station Gets Shielding, Not Blasters

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