In the near future to protect orbiting satellites and debris will be laser. Such a possibility, according to The Daily Mail, examines NASA.
Lasers, such as those that are used for welding in car factories will be shooting at decommissioned spacecraft through special telescopes, changing the direction of their flight.
If you shoot a laser piece of garbage for a few hours, it will shift the course of day to 195 m, calculated the NASA team of specialists led by James Mason. Although this impact is not enough to push the object out of orbit, it should be enough to avoid a collision with a space station or satellite.
Previously, experts have already proposed to use lasers to deal with space debris. However, these theories are designed for the use of technology in the spirit of Star Wars, required large expenditures. The current project also requires only a few tens of millions of dollars, of which the equipment will take $ 800,000. At the same time, NASA hopes that with the new lasers can change the trajectory of the unused half of the orbiters.
Space debris are concerned about not only the United States. In the past year, Russia has decided to allocate more than 60 billion rubles. Cleanup on the near-Earth space. As part of this project are going to launch into orbit a special "cleaner" to be able to detect, capture the most dangerous space debris and dump it on Earth.
Implementation of such a complex and costly programs will the Russian space company "Energy". Orbital debris thrower is to be developed over the next few years, it is planned that in 2020 will begin testing a prototype. Sending a savior of near-Earth space to space is scheduled for 2023.
Space debris — a product of more than 4.6 million startups and about 250 orbital destruction of running vehicles. For example, after exhausting its energy satellites may disintegrate into fragments. This produces different amounts of debris — from 6 to 50 or more. Currently in orbit more than 13.5 thousand objects of the total mass of about 5.8 tons. Only 6% of them are exploited, 40% — this is non-functioning, but intact satellites, and 54% — fragments of exploded and destroyed vehicles.