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Blasting space junk with a laser

In the movie gravity fast moving space junk destroyed a space shuttle - in reality this could happen, since the Russians lunched SputnikI human race went on a launching spree that left a lot of junk in space. Its space right? So it wouldn't be a problem - it will just fly away to a distant galaxy? Sadly no, space junk in low orbit are still experiencing gravity like our satellites and like satellites they will stay in orbit which will possibly result into a collision with our future space flights.

                                                   Photo from Australian National University
Astronomers at the Australian National University has a solution - zap the darn junk with laser to clean up the place and avoid the collisions depicted in the oscar-winning movie. 
Mr Green said the ultimate goal would be to zap the debris with lasers, slowing its orbit and allowing the junk to fall back into the atmosphere, where it would burn up harmlessly
Harmlessly? If those 300,000 things burns out wouldn't they cause degradation in the atmosphere? If they have a laser powerful enough to reach low orbit and slow down space junk - what if a something accidentally passed by and boom! What will you guys say? Sorry we zapped your plane to pieces :p Ide have object tracking and identification set up first before having the laser zap anything. Better yet - lets launch the laser up there, to be charged using solar power and will zap the debris while its in orbit.

Via: theage

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