The Chinese scientists at the Air Force Engineering University conducted a simulation concluding that giant lasers would be an effective method for clearing up Earth’s orbit of old satellites and other space junk.
A study titled Impacts of orbital elements of space-based laser station on small scale space debris removal, by researchers at the Air Force Engineering University in China, describes how space debris could be zapped into smaller, less-harmful pieces using space-based lasers.
Debris figured around Earth
The study provides necessary theoretical basis for the deployment of space-based laser station and the further application of space debris removal by using it. The high-speed debris orbiting the planet, which continues to increase with each passing year, is viewed as a serious threat to future space missions. Only the Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007 generated thousands of items of dangerous debris in space. On the other part, Earth’s orbit is full of old satellites that have been unused for years. There have been a number of different missions over the years with the goal of collecting this space junk and removing it from the Earth’s orbit but they had little result. The issue will get worse if left unchecked. While experts believe that such a solution could be effective, there is also mounting concern surrounding the implications of building a “space-based laser station,” which would be in fact a massive space weapon perceived as a danger by the big powers of the world.