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Laser 'tractor beams' to tidy up space junk

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posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 12:14 PM

WITH Earth's orbit cluttered with dead satellites, discarded rocket boosters and other space junk, ways to prevent the accumulation of such debris are desperately needed.

How about using a tractor beam to simply steer future junk aside, says space-flight engineer John Sinko of Nagoya University, Japan.

Sinko's idea is based on an experimental type of spacecraft engine called a laser thruster. Inside these motors, laser pulses fired into a mass of solid propellant cause a jet of material to be released, pushing the craft in the opposite direction.

Sinko realised that the laser did not necessarily have to be on the same craft. "These on-board motors could also be targeted remotely by lasers for tractor beaming," he says.

He has designed a series of laser thrusters that can be activated in this way. A spacecraft fitted with a laser would fire a low-power beam at a thruster fitted on another craft to attract, repel or steer it in another direction. Pushing a spacecraft away is a relatively simple matter, but more complex designs using mirrors are needed to use a beam to tug one towards the laser.
Continued story at link


This is an interesting idea, especially with all the space junk floating around up there. I advocate the idea of keeping all that crap around the planet cleaned up for sure.

posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 12:31 PM
Earth will progressively be depleted of its elements if this keeps continuing.

They should force them back to burn in the atmosphere and return the elements to the proper original place they came from.

The space agencies will then have the idea to mine them from other planets...

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