"I'm strictly an ivory-tower person. I can explain things but I can't do things."
If you had been asked by the Council of the Galaxy to make haste in investigating a huge nebula in the center of the galaxy that was slowly speeding up and threatening the entire galaxy with destruction, you'd still want to watch out for meteors.
Watching out for meteors as you zoomed through space seemed like a very practical problem for the writers of the Thirties and Forties; see Meteor Warning System from the 1932 novel A Conquest of Two Worlds and the Meteor-Spotting Radar from the 1943 story Recoil (by this time, the equipment had been automated).
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