December 1, 2023

NASA Plans to Use Lasers to Remove Space Junk Orbiting Earth

NASA has announced plans to use lasers to reduce the amount of space junk orbiting Earth. The goal is to remove debris that could potentially cause collisions with satellites and other spacecraft, creating an even greater risk for astronauts and our planet.

Under the plan, NASA will do tests in space to see if lasers could be used to safely clear spacecraft of debris without hurting any of the valuable cargo on board. Lasers will be used in a “laser broom” process that utilizes intensely focused light beams to push nearby objects away from a given area.

This new effort marks one of many initiatives undertaken by NASA in its mission to clear up Earth’s orbit from dangerous pieces of junk. NASA has thought about sending up CubeSats with special nets or harpoons that could grab larger pieces of space junk and pull them into a path that would bring them back to Earth’s atmosphere.

The new laser method would help deal with the possible dangers that come from large space objects and also reduce the number of large pieces that are in orbit around Earth. If it works, this method could be a safe, reliable way to restore orbital stability while causing as little trouble as possible to ongoing space missions.



Photo Credit: Envato Elements