Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA Wants to Zap Space Junk with Lasers

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 3 years ago

Space 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "MIT Technology Review reports that various ideas have been floated for removing space junk, most of them hugely expensive, but now James Mason at NASA Ames Research Center has come up with the much cheaper option of zapping individual pieces of junk with a ground-based laser, to slow them down so that they eventually de-orbit. Mason estimates that a test device to test the reversal of the Kessler syndrome could be put together for a million dollars, which would have to be shared by many spacefaring nations, to avoid the inevitable legal issues that using such a device would raise. "The scheme requires launching nothing into space — except photons (PDF) — and requires no on-orbit interaction — except photon pressure. It is thus less likely to create additional debris risk in comparison to most debris removal schemes" writes Mason. "Eventually the concept may lead to an operational international system for shielding satellites and large debris objects from a majority of collisions as well as providing high accuracy debris tracking data and propellant-less station keeping for smallsats.""

cancel ×

0 comments

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...