Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

Posted in Science on 24th Apr, 2015 08:23 PM by AlexMuller

NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites and spacecraft, and it is very hard to remove. A team of scientists, however, think they have a way: Lasers.

A recent paper by Tokyo’s Riken institute proposes using a telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) to track small bits of space junk. A laser on the telescope would target and zap the junk, sending it crashing into the atmosphere, where it would vaporize, no longer a threat to humans or satellites.
The system would be effective against debris roughly a centimeter in size. These objects pose the greatest danger because they’re big enough to do damage but too small to track and evade in orbit. Ground-based laser systems have been proposed in the past, but the researchers believe theirs is more manageable, more accurate, cheaper, and faster.
The system would consist of the EUSO super-wide field-of-view telescope and a high efficiency CAN laser (developed to power particle accelerators). The laser, a bundle of fiber optic cable, rapidly produces high-power laser pulses. When trained on debris, the reactive force would slow its orbital velocity, pushing it into the atmosphere.
“We believe that this dedicated system could remove most of the centimeter-sized debris within five years of operation,” said Toshikazu Ebisuzaki, the scientist leading up the research effort. And some urgency is warranted. According to a statement released by the team, pieces of orbital space junk, derelict satellites, old rockets and rocket parts, and small fragments from collisions, almost doubled between 2000 and 2014. It's estimated there is nearly 3,000 tons of the stuff orbiting the planet in total.
A European Space Agency (ESA) report released in 2013 said that roughly ten objects a week pass within two kilometers of each other. Even a single collision can significantly worsen the problem. A 2009 crash between two defunct satellites added some 2,000 smaller objects to already crowded polar orbits.
ESA estimates that, lacking remediation, collisions could ultimately reach 25 times today’s rate in coming decades, rendering low-Earth orbit unusable for satellites and other spacecraft.

Tags: NASAspacespace debrislaserspace stationsatellite

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-04-25
What a great idea! I agree that using a telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) to track small bits of space junk and then to use a laser on the telescope to target and zap the junk would be excellent! Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-04-23 23:22:30
    Climate change: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m for more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-04-23 23:17:24
    The foods that might help with more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-04-22 23:49:35
    NASA’s proposed multi-billion orbiting moonbase used more
    Posted in Business on 2018-04-22 23:43:36
    Sunshine State Is Set to Get More Solar After Florida more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-04-22 23:36:57
    FDA approves first contact lens that gets darker in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me