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Nasa Going After Space Junk

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In something out of a scene from a science fiction movie, NASA is going to attempt to use lasers to blast away space junk that is floating around Earth in orbit as the debris poses hazards to satellites.

The lasers won’t actually blast the objects into atoms but will nudge them out of the way so that they won’t collide and damage expensive satellites needed by agencies here on Earth.

It’s done to avert what is known as the “Kessler Syndrome” which is a term that refers to when there is too much junk in orbit around the planet causing a hazardous situation to stable platforms such as satellites, space stations and space craft entering or leaving orbit.

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The science and theory behind the operation is that lasers have just enough momentum that if concentrated on an orbiting object for some period of time, it would nudge the object out of it’s hazardous path.

If it proves successful it will be an inexpensive means of ridding the Earth of hazardous space debris. The potential might allow existing telescopes to be modified with lasers to help in the effort. It’s estimated that some 20,000 pieces of debris are being monitored and since an accident in 2009 where two satellites collided brings to bear the need for such a system.

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