Man-made junk is everywhere. Not only is it found on the beach, the forest and the ocean, but it can now be found in outer space as well, which could prove hazardous to the operation of the ISS and other functional spaceships orbiting Earth.
Flying rubble of metal space garbage, produced by satellites colliding with each other, has caused a risk to the manning of the International Space Station (ISS) as well as other ships sent up into space.
Japanese scientists from the Riken Institute in Japan plans for the conversion of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory’s telescope aboard the ISS into a fiber-optic laser to shoot space junk, just what was done in the movie Gravity, out of orbit. It will then burn itself out as it hurls back to Earth.
The laser beam will be precisely programmed, it will be able to shoot a target at one centimeter in diameter from a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
Other likely proposals to “clean” the debris includes utilization of net in catching it or shooting it with gas.
After a long span of probing space , millions of spaceships and satellites fragments have floating around the cosmos colliding with each other.
In an isolated episode, China was said to have caused two million fragments to break away in a 2007 anti-satellite missile test, causing the ISS to routinely avoid a collision course with the debris.
Scientist Dr Toshikazu Ebisuzaki said they want to try out the laser initially on a small telescope.
Ebisuzaki said, “If that goes well, we plan to install a full-scale version on the ISS, incorporating a three-meter [10ft] telescope and a laser with 10,000 fibers, giving it the ability to de-orbit debris with a range of approximately 100 kilometers.”
Additional proposals include launching of another laser into deep space, where the majority of the debris is.