Space Lasers To Remove Space Debris? Japanese Researchers Present Ambitious Plan

April 18, 2015 12:19 PM

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Space Lasers To Remove Space Debris? Japanese Researchers Present Ambitious Plan

Removal of space debris -- a collection of defunct parts of old satellites, rockets and spacecraft -- has been a major headache for space agencies. According to current estimates, there are up to 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble, or larger, orbiting Earth. This orbital junk can travel at speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour -- fast enough to cause serious damage to satellites and even the International Space Station (ISS).

Now, a team of scientists from Japan’s Riken research institute have come up with an ambitious plan to eliminate the debris. In a paper published in the latest issue of the journal Acta Astronautica, the researchers proposed a method that basically involves blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of debris...

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