In space, no one can hear you commit a sneaky bin drop. Although NASA is listening with a special instrument that records electromagnetic vibrations. The eerie sounds that can be heard within the ever-expanding universe result from the interactions of charged electromagnetic particles from the solar wind, the ionosphere, along with planetary magnetic fields. Neil deGrasse Tyson nodded knowingly.
Nevertheless, pollution is an issue universe-wide with rocket and satellite remnants littering the cosmos. To tackle this, Chinese researchers have suggested humans could use lasers to obliterate space junk, which is a downright badarse solution in itself.
There is a growing collection of space fragments orbiting our astronomical body, which if left alone could become a serious inconvenience. If a hunk of junk crashed into one of our active satellites, it could spell disaster for communication networks across the globe. We may even have to examine the weather for ourselves by gazing out a nearby window.
Oh yeah, and the International Space Station could be compromised as well. That’s pretty vital. The point is, it has the potential to cause a billion gagillion fafillion shabadabalo shabadamillion shabaling shabalomillion dollars’ worth of damage. The quota for Dr. Evil references has now been filled for this article.
Back to the laser beams. The aforementioned scientists are exploring the very real possibility of blasting that pesky space scum using orbital laser stations. There is legitimate research which has been published in Optik – International Journal for Light and Electron Optics to support this.
For their experimentation, the researchers successfully imitated the conditions required for an orbital laser station that would identify and annihilate fragments of space rubbish under 10 centimetres in length with 20 spurts of light per second for two minutes.
This technique is intended to either push the unwanted waste away to be cremated in the atmosphere or shove it out of the way, averting impact with equipment orbiting our planet. The scientists determined that it would be conceivable to catapult these laser stations into space and that they would be useful in getting rid of space debris and thwarting impending crashes.
In addition, the intricacies of making the laser stations would be difficult to achieve. Who would be responsible for constructing them? How many orbital laser stations is too many orbital laser stations? Furthermore, while the contraptions have an intended purpose, is it likely they could be weaponised because humans are inherently arseholeish? These answers need to be determined by the appropriate authorities before anything goes ahead.
If they could guarantee the technology was used responsibly and as planned, the stations could make a considerable difference in the garbage build up, which is projected to become bleaker in the coming decades, with a multitude of new satellites to be launched by the year 2025.
Thus far, all of the potential methods for combating the space junk issue have substantial weaknesses that could be exploited by antagonists in the making, so our species will need improved suggestions if we have any chance of stopping our current gadgets from becoming sinister titbits of space clutter in the next chapter of human advancement.