Space debris could be nudged out of the way using a moderately sized Earth-based laser, a team of NASA researchers suggests in a new paper. The laser wouldn’t blast the debris to smithereens, but combined with a ground-based telescope, it could be used to move space junk into a different orbit so it would not collide with other debris or important spacecraft.
In a sign that President Obama’s vision for a private space industry might be gaining some legs, Iridium Communications has penned a nearly $500 million deal with SpaceX to send its next-gen satellites skyward aboard the private space carrier’s Falcon 9 rocket starting in 2015.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.