March 16, 2011
NASA Considers Zapping Space Junk with Lasers
Lisa Grossman, Wired
The growing cloud of space junk surrounding the Earth is a hazard to spaceflight, and will only get worse as large pieces of debris collide and fragment. NASA space scientists have hit on a new way to manage the mess: Use mid-powered lasers to nudge space junk off collision courses.
The U.S. military currently tracks about 20,000 pieces of junk in low-Earth orbit, most of which are discarded bits of spacecraft or debris from collisions in orbit.
TAGGED: nasa, lasers, space debris