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Low Earth Orbit Junk Yard Nearly Full

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the get-a-vacuum-up-there dept.

Space 443

vlado4 writes "The New York Times has up an article on the amount of space junk in Earth Orbit. According to NASA officials, the amount of stuff we've put into LEO is at critical levels. Additionally they have great graphics of the nearly 1000 new pieces resulting from testing the new Chinese anti-satellite weapon, as well as the damage to Hubble's solar array. The litter is now so bad that, even if space-faring nations refrained from further interference, collisions would continue to create more clutter just above our atmosphere. Space debris appear to be a difficult problem to deal with and may hinder future space exploration."

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No problem (4, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906178)

We'll just have the Chinese clear it out with their new laser death beam things.

Re:No problem (-1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906330)

Congrats for your first post, but:

We'll just have the Chinese clear it out with their new laser death beam things.
if you had actually RTFA'ed, you'd have understood that this test contributed to the problem (by shattering one piece into a thousand) rather than solving it. But then, if you had RTFA'ed you probably wouldn't have gotten first post ;-)

Re:No problem (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906582)

The Chinese anti-satellite weapon that caused all of the space-debris was a missile. The Chinese laser death ray is something completely different. If you had been keeping up on current events instead of nitpicking posts on slashdot while sniffing magic markers you would know that.

Re:No problem (4, Interesting)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906912)

It is of course very easy to point at the Chinese for shattering a satellite into a thousand pieces, but don't forget that the US has their share of stupid mistakes as well.
For example, in 1963 the US Military launched 480 million tiny needles into orbit (project West Ford), to see if they could be used to reflect radio signals.
That did not work well, but the needles remained in orbit for years.
And if scientists would not have been very opposed to it, they probably would have launched even more to see if the idea would work.

Also, it is difficult to say that space is "full" of junk. The LEO area has such a large volume that even hundres of millions of junk particles at a uniform distribution still means they are all many kilometers apart. So what is "full"?

Re:No problem (1)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906532)

In all seriousness, I wonder if there's any way to solve this problem? Would a super-strong electromagnetic connected to a series of huge satellites orbitting in the wrong direction clear out the space junk?

Re:No problem (2, Funny)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906622)

Perhaps we need Megamaid

Re:No problem (5, Funny)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906680)

You can see that the stress of all the debris is having a bad effect on astronauts already [bloomberg.com] .

RonB

Difference between a landfill and a spacefill (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906888)

... it takes a couple more years for everyone to realize you can't just keep dumping shit in a spacefill forever.

Re:No problem (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906900)

I was thinking more along the lines of an electromagnetic orbit pooper scooper

Re:No problem (4, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906990)

"We'll just have the Chinese clear it out with their new laser death beam things."

that will never work unless they can breed sharks that can survive in space..

Heh (2, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906192)

I hereby claim ownership of the concept of the space zamboni.

Re:Heh (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906444)

Well, that beats the hell out of my Space Swiffer idea.

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906778)

How about a space vacuum?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906880)

We call those "Black Holes".

Re:Heh (4, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906782)

I anticipate that there will be a huge demand for brave space pilots to obliterate this menace. Therefore, I have already begun training on an advanced debris-elimination trainer software using the latest vector graphics technology. I realize that space is not two dimensional and the "hyperspace" technology has not yet been developed, but I will be prepared in advance once our brilliant scientists make space junk elimination possible. In addition, I will have a head start on blasting those flying saucers that will be piloted by our vile Chinese nemeses.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906460)

you really want to claim ownership of an ice resurfacing device for space junk?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906560)

Do you really think it's a good idea to create a layer of ice around the earth?

Look at the bright side (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906196)

Space debris appear to be a difficult problem to deal with and may hinder future space exploration.

Sure, but it also prevents stuff from comig in. Things like alien landers, etc. Or in an earth hostility only mode, it is a cheaper, and more effective, vresion of the Star Wars defense. Put more up there and let it shield us.

Hafrumph!!! (4, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906596)

Republican

{...ducks...}

Re:Look at the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906738)

Reminds me of the notion in "Mutants in Orbit", an add-on to Palladium's sci-fi RPG "After the Bomb."

The idea was that the nuclear war had left so many weapon systems and debris in orbit that it created a shield so that the survivors in space and those on the ground could not reach each other.

Solution (5, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906200)

Launch a new ball of garbage into orbit to propel the old ball of garbage away from earth. It's foolproof.

Aerogel (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906348)

Launch a big sponge made of aerogel. Light and easy to carry up there, and it scoops up crud as it orbits.

Re:Aerogel (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906848)

I'm just wondering: where do the waves of needle snakes and gorillas come in?

The solution? (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906256)

Magnets. Giant magnets. Giant floating, magnetic balls like the boss in FFII for SNES. That'll solve the problem.

Re:The solution? (1)

Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906884)

Or even better - put the fricking magnets on fricking sharks! Yes! Sharks with fricking magnets on their heads!

but if we toss enough stuff up there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906260)

we can delay global climate change!

How bad are we? (5, Insightful)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906266)

Not only are we destroying our own environment, our planet is surrounded by floating trash.

Re:How bad are we? (1)

jslater25 (1005503) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906328)

At least all the debris and trash will hide the Earth from aggressive enemy aliens looking for a new world to conquer.

Re:How bad are we? (4, Funny)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906636)

Does this make us the hillbilly's of the galaxy?

What's next, a space station on cinder blocks?

RonB

Re:How bad are we? (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906716)

Not only are we destroying our own environment, our planet is surrounded by floating trash.
I applaud your progressive sense of guilty despair. Not only is it enlightened, it's constructive as well!

Re:How bad are we? (1)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906926)

Hey now, it's not all bad. If we get enough of this crap floating around up there, it'll screen the sunlight and stop global warming! w00t!

Re:How bad are we? (5, Informative)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906994)

Not really. Decay time due to drag for LEO is fairly short. Debris in orbits below 300 km (where ISS lives) falls in less than 30 days. Debris up by the Hubble can stay up for years, but will fall eventually. Here is a chart [spacefuture.com] of orbital decay vs. altitude.

The Garbage Scow (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906272)

Didn't Arthur C Clarke or Isaac Asimov detail this problem years ago and posit that a space garbage service would have to be setup to collect this stuff?

Non-profit ventures? (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906484)

It's a little like what's being done on Mount Everest. Over the years, climbers have left thousands of empty oxygen bottles and other garbage scattered over the high-altitude regions. Starting in 1995, Scott Fischer and others organized charity-funded expeditions to remove the crap, not a minor undertaking given the cold and hypoxic conditions.

Re:The Garbage Scow "Toybox" (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906618)

Sure, space garbage collectors sounds a little esoteric, but the concept was enough to make a manga and anime [wikipedia.org] out of it.

Re:The Garbage Scow "Toybox" (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906790)

I thought Planetes was a great little anime. The animators seemed to simulate the physics fairly well without making tasks slow or impossible. (like they would be in real life)

Re: Quark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906806)

Well, network television [culttvman.com] definitely foretold the need for a garbage scow in space...

It will counter global warming (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906276)

All these debris collide with one another and create fine dust covering the earth. It will reflect just enough sunlight to reduce the amount of absorbed radiation to counter the global warming. What a great relief! Last momement reprieve, brought to you by Frank Merrywell.

Re:It will counter global warming (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906552)

Yea.. global warming.... *looks at thermometer* -5F .. yea, I am melting here due to global warming..

Hah--! (3, Funny)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906288)

Hey, wait, I played Math Blaster -- I am ready for this .

Pfft. Think we problems now. (1)

Nathgar (995959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906324)

Just wait until we blow up the Moon, or put a Disney theme park in orbit, whichever comes first.

-------------
If I had a good quote, that wasn't already said, I'd quote it.

Re:Pfft. Think we problems now. (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906608)

While the destruction of the moon will certainly cause problems, it isn't in low Earth orbit so this wouldn't be one of them.

CERISE satellite (3, Informative)

amightywind (691887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906334)

A year later, apprehension rose as the fuel tank of an abandoned American rocket engine exploded, breaking the craft into 713 detectable fragments -- until now, the record.

The NYT calls out the US but makes no mention of the the loss of the CERISE satellite [seds.org] by a fragment of an exploded Ariane upper stage in 1997.

But seriously... (4, Insightful)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906342)

This is a HUGE problem. Considering that kinetic energy is proportional to the square of velocity, think about how much damage even a small chip of paint can do at orbital speeds (low Earth orbit = approx. 5 miles per second). Then think of a 2 lb. chunk of metal at the same speed (8 times the speed of a rifle bullet).

Right off the top of my head I can't think of a feasible way of beginning to clean this up. Perhaps large orbital superconducting magnets (easy to maintain cryo temperatures in space) for the ferrous stuff, but what about ceramics and all the other junk?

This has the potential to make what is usually the safest part of space travel (sitting there in orbit) the most dangerous part, unlike the historical danger zones of liftoff and reentry.

Leave it alone (2, Insightful)

amightywind (691887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906448)

Right off the top of my head I can't think of a feasible way of beginning to clean this up.

You leave it alone and it will go away. The drag forces on small objects in LEO will cause their orbits to decay in 3-5 years. Debris in higher orbits is another matter.

the thing about leo (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906472)

is its unstable due to the resistance from the thin atnosphere up there, even the IIS has to be boosted on a fairly regular basis and that is pretty big.

so long term all this debris should come down and burn up.

Re:But seriously... (2, Informative)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906668)

It is NOT easy to maintain cryo temperatures in space. Disposing of heat in space is quite difficult, as your only means of heat loss is radiation and the sun tends to shine on whatever you're cooling most of the time.

Ok, didn't Nasa Tell teh Astronaughts not to flush (0)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906346)

how much is human waist? Can you spot it in teh pictures?

Re:Ok, didn't Nasa Tell teh Astronaughts not to fl (4, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906470)

> how much is human waist?

Depending on the human, somewhere around around 32 inches.

Re:Ok, didn't Nasa Tell teh Astronaughts not to fl (2, Funny)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906786)

> how much is human waist?

Depending on the human, somewhere around around 32 inches.
Not around these parts.

Re:Ok, didn't Nasa Tell teh Astronaughts not to fl (1)

Kanerix (969434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906546)

Since humans don't survive vacuums very well, and we haven't really lost any in orbit, I highly doubt that there are very many human waists out there, let alone any other human parts. There may, however, be a bit of human waste in the form of excrement flying around, which begs the question:

Who flung poo?

Typical (2, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906352)

This is typical of the shortsighted idiotic human being. Most people just seem incapable of thinking multiple steps ahead. It's a pretty obvious problem that clear thinking would have revealed from the get go. But, as is the human way, it was far easier to just forget about the problem until it interferes. Of course as soon as someone would have suggested that we find a way to clean up the space junk early on, they would have been derided for getting in the way and worrying about petty concerns. Humanity disgusts me.

yes, humanity is shortsighted (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906416)

but the ones who do the real damage are the faithless negative types

know anyone like that?

Re:yes, humanity is shortsighted (1)

Shiptar (792005) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906510)

So NASA is a bunch of faithless negatives?

read the parent (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906824)

it's hidden. i didn't reply to the top level post

(slaps forehead)

Re:yes, humanity is shortsighted (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906518)

Did you read your own comment? ... Yes, I do!

read the parent comment (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906902)

it's hidden

i didn't reply to the top level post

Re:Typical (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906804)

Some of it was accidental, like the expended rocket stages that exploded well after being shutdown due to something igniting the residual propellants in the tanks.

new moon (2, Funny)

mdemonic (988470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906358)

Maybe it will become a new moon some day, and we could inhabit it, and create a new layer of orbiting junk

Re:new moon (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906834)

I look forward to the day when man will land on an orbiting katamari. ...ducks

I can hear the promo now... Don LaFontaine: "Katamari Damacy... This time, it's for real!"

Already Solved The Problem (4, Insightful)

compact_support (968176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906374)

Didn't somebody design a really cheap system of kamikaze satellites that would grapple the dangerous pieces and de-orbit them into the atmosphere? By really cheap I mean ~10,000 dollars. Surely we could put a couple of those on the ISS in case it looked like something was coming for it. I know it's expensive to launch the things, but AFAIK they're about the size of a propane tank for a BBQ and could be launched in vast numbers on a single rocket. The space is so large we only need to worry about the stuff in the space we WANT to be in or go through. All the geosynchronous stuff is in a much higher orbit, so we only need to worry about the stuff in LEO and the stuff going through it. It shoudn't be a problem to plot a course through it, and we can clear the orbits as we go.

Oooo pretty rings (1, Interesting)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906380)

Wouldn't all that junk eventually form a ring around the equator? IIRC from high school physics, planets do something like that. Then it wouldn't be a ... oh, wait, equatorial launches are easier but would then go through the ring. Gr. Stupid gravity. Always making things difficult for us.

We've finally done it. (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906414)

We've broken Space.

I guess we'll just have to go back to throwing our crap exclusively into the air and oceans. Last one to the beach with a six-pack is a rotten egg!

I have a radical idea (5, Funny)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906424)

NASA needs to cut a deal with Blizzard. Make each of the pieces of "space junk" an ultra-rare item in World of Warcraft that the players have to go and collect themselves.

The problem will be solved in 3 months.

Re:I have a radical idea (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906816)

Great, another stinking Outland [wikipedia.org] resource grind.

Re:I have a radical idea (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906876)

lol then it will be world of warcrack.....hey all you can now die to get your amazing new yadda yadda weapon by hopping on a one way trip t clean up your astronauts feces....of course we will make sure the item is transferred to your next of kin upon the time you return to earth as a flaming asteroid =D

Re:I have a radical idea (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906932)

Until a bunch of gold rings appear and start cluttering everything up again.

Dear China, (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906440)

It seems you missed the announcement, the space junk race has been canceled. While your actions are impressive, and as irresponsible as any superpower has ever been, there is no need to attempt to catch up with the US and the states formerly known as the Soviet Union.

You also might be interested to know that there has been a litany of terrestrial environmental mistakes made over the past century or so. While we recognize that it's you're right to fuck shit up on your own, we strongly suggest at least making an attempt to learn from mistakes already made.

In summary, we all remember our first beer too, but come on, it's time to grow up a bit.

Sincerely,

The World

saweet (5, Funny)

esobofh (138133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906452)

Soon those saturn bastards will envy OUR ring!!

Chinese Need a Stern Talking To (3, Funny)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906456)

I presume it was known that the anti-satellite system would result in a bunch of big chunks. Someone needs to give them a bad tongue lashing. I'm shaking my finger at China right now and my eyebrows have come down. Let this be a lesson to you, china! Next time I'll use a more stern voice.

At least it's LEO, so it won't be there forever... but perhaps for a long time.

Re:Chinese Need a Stern Talking To (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906864)

You can use a stern voice as long as it does not jeopardize our trade relations. and by relations I mean China sending all its stuff here, and the US not sending anything in return. (unless you count pirated movies and music)

Java to the Rescue! (3, Funny)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906474)

All space software should now be written in a garbage-collected language.

no problem (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906478)

go in the basement, turn off the gravity generator, wait a few minutes for the debris to float away, then turn gravity back on

you people are so silly

Re:no problem (1)

Kanerix (969434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906676)

But then all our junk is just in a higher orbit... I think we just need to turn up the gravity for a short time and let the junk burn up in the atmosphere. An added bonus to this is now the moon will be a good deal bigger in the sky for those long walks on the (now-polluted and possibly tidal-flooded) beach with your girlfriend. Let's do it! Remember to bring your asteroid-proof umbrella!

I'm of two minds. (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906508)

On the one hand, we could sell salvage rights to the Ferengi.

On the other, it would provide good cover for the 'Falcon after she fools GWB's fleet admirals...

planetes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906516)

tooku tooku DIVE IN THE SKY

It's a global warming sun shield (1)

esobofh (138133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906526)

Humans created the problem... and humans shall solve it with a giant solar-radiation blocking shield comprised of small bits of metal. we're saved!

deliberate sabotaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906542)

a pissed rogue nation can deliberately launch junk up there .. argh .. ideas to prevent that?

Lower and raise the orbits (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906570)

Much of this can be ameliorated if not solved outright by launching only to lower and higher orbits. Lower orbits will be in the upper reaches of the earth's atmosphere which will clean out debris naturally. The orbital decay of the satellites can be matched to their expected operational lives and if launch costs can be brought down then additional station-keeping fuel can be placed aboard to help maintain the operational life until it is time for burn-up. Higher orbits will be in a volume of space that is vastly larger than the LEO shell now being threatened with overpopulation by debris. Space is big... really really big... All you need is to extend the orbital altitude and you reduce the problem as a cube of the orbital radius -- but the cost of additional altitude is _very_ low compared to simply getting to LEO altitude. Once again, lowering launch costs helps here.

hmmm (1)

AndyboyH (837116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906590)

The anime Planetes really isn't so far from the truth after all...

(if you haven't seen it, or think that anime is all about tentacles, schoolgirls, product marketing, or bulging muscles - it's an anime about a team of people who clean up space for a living. It's well worth seeing.)

Re:hmmm (1)

killjoy966 (655602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906664)

Wait a second...

So are you telling me there are no tentacles, no schoolgirls, and no bulging muscles?
And why do I want to watch this again?

How long will it stay up there? (1, Insightful)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906660)

Nice attack piece on China and Russia. An alternative summary could read: The evil Chinese and Russians don't care and create space debris just for kicks; whereas we, the noble U.S.A., do care, it's beside teh point that we just happened to have actually created more (and we don't even bother mentioning other space programs like the ESA or the Japanese because they aren't communist and are therefore also O.K.).

One important question though the article doesn't seem to mention is whether the space debris will plague future generations (when space travel may well be more common place). Won't most of this low-level space degree simply get burned up sooner or later or is that kind of like saying "well plastic pollution does biodegrade eventually"?

A good anime on this topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906670)

Planetes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetes [wikipedia.org]

A giant vacuum... (2, Funny)

cobrajs (882891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906698)

Now if only we could create some giant space vacuum...

Look to Hollywood for the answer! (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906704)

Ever see the movie Spaceballs [imdb.com] ? There was that big vacuum robot maid-thingy that sucked up the air from Planet Druidia. Maybe some geeks at MIT could borrow that and modify it to suck up the debris?

Somebody set up us the trash. (1)

hey0you0guy (1003040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906710)

Orbiting Trash: How are you gentlemen !!
Orbiting Trash: All your orbit are belong to us.
Orbiting Trash: You are on the way to destruction.
Earth: What you say !!
Orbiting Trash: You have no chance to survive make your time.
Orbiting Trash: Ha ha ha ha ....

Beginnin of the end (1)

Intangible Fact (1001781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906736)

It seems that nobody gives a damn about the future. We are so insatiable that is doesn't matter if we destroy everything in our path as long as we find pride within our selfish perspectives.

Roomba (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906758)

Just build a big Roomba [irobot.com] thingy. That should get the job done in a few thousand years or so.

Catamari (1)

nra1871 (836627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906760)

We love catamari....in space! Roll it up!

Re:Catamari (1)

Kanerix (969434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906846)

...and smoke it?

Devo to the rescue! (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906764)

she was walking all alone
down the street in the alley
her name was sally
she never saw it
when she was hit by space junk

Just get some orange space suits and send up some prisoners to clean up.

Problem solved. Next!

ISS junk (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906792)

You gotta love that they list the ISS as a piece of Space Junk in their "Interactive Graphic".

See here [nytimes.com]

how about a collection system! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906842)

A nice large magnet rotating in that same region might work for ferrous metals. It works in the oil pan of my car.
They could even use a large round magnet and attach netting on the inside. That works in my pool for the bugs.

Don't worry, I've already applied for the patent on those so I'm covered. Of course I also applied for the patent on the business process for the entire concept of cleaning space debris so I'm covered no matter what method someone thinks up. Hey, if it was soooo obvious, why has no one done it? ;)

Star trek solution (1)

Chris Shannon (897827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906874)

Just equip every satellite with a deflector dish [memory-alpha.org] . Have each satellite perturb the orbit of each piece of debris it comes across to intersect with the atmosphere.

easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17906924)

all we need is spaceball's mega maid :)

I have the solution (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906944)

Sounds like a job for Mega-Maid [waffleimages.com]

garbage collection? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906952)

Wasnt there a TV show called 'quark' or something 20 some years ago that addressed this problem, in a humorous sort of way?

Why not do it for real?

Solution for Global Warming (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906962)

If theres really all that space junk floating around how is global warming a problem? All that junk should be blocking the sun before it even reaches the atmosphere!

If anything we should put more up there.

Paisan! (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17906984)

The LEO clearing racket over Brooklyn is already cornered by the Soprano Family Garbage Consulting Inc.
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