Scientists plan to blast space debris with a fiber optic laser

April 18, 2015 6:02 AM

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To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea — nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds — seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan’s Riken research institute has put forward what may be the most ambitious plan to date. They propose blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of space junk out of orbit with a fiber optic laser mounted on the International Space Station.

Their plan is straight-forward, as reported by Engadget. The research team first wants to adapt the EUSO’s (Extreme Universe Space Observatory) infrared telescope to track chunks of space debris hurtling around the globe at very high speeds. Then they propose using a fiber optic CAN laser, formerly ...

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