Another week, another scheme to clean up our bourgeoning space debris problem. This one, like many before it, calls for a powerful ground-based laser to remove orbital debris from low earth orbit. Using high-powered laser pulses fired from the ground, the system would create a small plasma jet emanating from the piece of junk itself, essentially turning each piece of debris into its own laser-powered rocket that would remove itself from orbit.
The system, detailed in a paper released on arXiv last week, would rely on technologies already available or already under development. And unlike other ground-based laser systems proposed in past decades, it would be able to tackle both large and small pieces of space junk. A 33-foot telescope should do the trick, and a powerful enough laser isn't out of reach, the authors of the paper claim.
Essentially, the heat from the laser--which would have to be targeted very precisely to intercept these extremely small objects whipping around the sky at many thousands of miles per hour--would vaporize a small part of each piece of space junk. The heat would be such that a small plasma jet would form, basically turning that piece of the space junk into fuel for a small jet that would push the debris out of orbit. Small piece of debris would burn up as their orbits decayed. Others would need to be carefully nudged out of orbit such that they end up landing in the Pacific Ocean.
The authors argue that a ground-based laser would obviate the need to launch any space junk-clearing spacecraft into orbit, which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Small pieces of junk could be cleared this way for a few thousand dollars. Larger pieces might cost up to $1 million.
Of course, laser-based approaches have been rejected out of hand previously based on the idea that they might also be used to target satellites in space during periods of hostilities. This scheme is likely headed for a similar fate. But at least someone is thinking about the problem, which as you read this is growing unchecked.
Might work at some time in the future. Right now, the people that actually monitor space junk think that it will just not work. They think that it will just create many smaller pieces. They monitor space junk down to some very small sizes and there is quite a lot of it after China blew up that last deal.
"Stand by ion control. Fire."
1.) Create thousands of these around the USA borders and on our ships.
2.) Of course this is new technology, so develop it shooting down from space our own USA space junk.
1.) We just created a laser missile defense system for our whole USA.
This is H.A.A.R.P technology (Angels don't play this harp)
just think of the terrorists
It's like a game of bull-$#i+, just give the G20 all a vote. If something isn't voted unanimously, then it doesn't get shot down. A rep from each of the G20 nations has to be present and use their specific identifier to allow the laser to fire. No questions allowed. And if you want to be less suspicious, you might want to vote no more than just when you want it.
"As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!"
This is a weapon, plain and simple, but creating it and making it operational has obvious benefits for a nation entering the 21st Century facing an emergent power who has made it clear it will use space as a means to dominate the planet.
Why not have some fun? We should try to crash the debris into the moon. Old junk is fun to collect. Amateur astronomers could observe objects impacting the moon and profesionals could test their skills at making the rediculous calculations it would take to give it a chance to hit. Bookies could even offer odds on it in Vegas....lol
POWER UP THE MOTH HAULDREN COLLIDER!
ENGAGE FASTER THAN LIGHT NEUTRIONOS!
FEED THE FLUX CAPACITOR!
"Scotty, we need more power, GIVE ME MORE POWER!"
I-ee Captain, I am given she all she has sir!
I think she may blow at any moment sir!
All righty then, it will have to do!
Steady men, steady!!!
Spock, how are those calculations going!
“Fascinating”! YES, Ready Jim!
We'll stop those Chinese from owning the moon!!!!!
Ready,…. Ready….. FIRE!!!!
I have a pretty cool rc airplane called a Nutball that I could attach a couple of Estes rockets to and a claw of somekind and send it up to pluck those pesky debris out of low earth orbit. I'm thinking about $100 per trip if that's not too much and I get to keep anything I bring back.
Oh, I just had a legitimate idea: gather as many psychics as you can find and put them in one room and tell them to mentally latch on to a defunct satellite and pull it into the atmosphere. Surely they will work for less than a million dollars per satellite and have the satisfaction that it is a Green solution.
Won't hippies complain about how its burning a hole in the ozone or something?
I have established the first plan, protect USA and second protect the moon.
Now we just need to build our space ship ark and land it on the moon and begin drilling to create our space colony on the moon and the second USA earth!
On the moon, we need thousands of deep tunnels and if we get lucky and search correctly we will find giant caverns. We need to protect ourselves from the solar radiation and we need a constant temperature of any kind.
Once we drill deep enough in the moon and find stability in life, then we can begin creating a home base. We need safety and a constant.
While the USA is establishing itself in the moon, we need the USA laser base stations to also protect us from any possible Earth born attacks.
In 100 or 200 years, the Earth will be overwhelmed by population, pollution, exhausted resources and viruses. We need as humanity to create a new environment for ourselves to protect our own future. We need space and beyond!
As recourse on earth grows dimmer and the population rises, we need to protect our moon base and satellites. The land base laser defensive system is an absolute necessity for our establishment for the moon and beyond! BEYOND! HUMANITY MUST SURVIVE!
Your mom is a whore and your sister is a tramp...
Have a nice day
The Russians made a system that did something like this. In fact, they used it (on its lowest power setting) to track Space Shuttle Challenger on October 10th 1984, which caused some problems for the shuttle crew which resulted in the US government making a formal complaint. It was called the Terra-3.
scary stuff. lasers are the weapons of the future.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
If Joe the terrorist were to get ahold of one of these...