Published On: Thu, Jun 20th, 2019

Scientists Trying to Solve Growing Space Junk Problem

Technology has contributed to the growing number of pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth and now, the question is how to retrieve it safely, according to a new report.

Defense One examined the issue and concluded that the problem of what to do with the floating chunks is complex and difficult to solve.

Ideas that have been discussed, according to the report, include using harpoons and giant space nets to snag space junk. Most of the debris in Earth’s orbit is the size of a baseball, however, so much of that would be too small to easily catch. Their speed is also a concern — some are moving as fast as 4.4 miles per second.

For now, experts are looking at ways to prevent space junk from becoming a problem in the first place.

“The best scenario is to establish a regime whereby those assets we send to space, once they are approaching the end of their lifetime, there is some mechanism whereby they could be either collected or actually guided back toward the graveyard — it could be a spot in the ocean — and in a very controlled manner,” Ambassador Sorin Ducaru of the European Union Satellite Center told Defense One. “Otherwise, if they’re blown up or if they collide, they create even more space debris.”

It’s been estimated that nearly 13,000 objects are orbiting the Earth. That number could triple in the coming years, Defense One reported.

Russia, meanwhile, is working on a laser that would vaporize space junk before it can cause further problems.

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Newsmax – Science and Technology

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Scientists Trying to Solve Growing Space Junk Problem