Tags: iss | laser | weapon | blast | space | junk

ISS Laser Weapon Would Blast Space Junk Out of the Way

Image: ISS Laser Weapon Would Blast Space Junk Out of the Way
(Nikola Belavic/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:54 PM

A group of international scientists are hoping to test an experimental laser on the International Space Station that could vaporize and knock space junk out of Earth's orbit.

The combination telescope and laser is still under development but the goal would address the burgeoning problem of space junk orbiting the Earth and has become a concern about objects colliding with the space laboratory, according to Space Daily.com.

"The number of objects nearly doubled from 2000 to 2014 and they have become a major obstacle to space development," said a statement from Riken, a research institute in Japan connected with the proposed space-zapping laser. "The total mass of space debris is calculated to be about 3,000 tons. It consists of derelict satellites, rocket bodies and parts, and small fragments produced by collisions between debris."

How the laser would work, according to Extreme Tech.com, is to vaporize the surface of the target, creating a plume of plasma that would then shove the object away from the space station toward Earth's atmosphere. The full-scale machine would use a 100,000-watt ultraviolet laser with the capability of shooting 10,000 pulses per second at a range up to 60 miles.

A test version with a 10-watt laser that can use 100 pulses per second with a telescope could accompany a Japanese module to the ISS as soon as 2017 or 2018.

"If that goes well, we plan to install a full-scale version on the ISS, incorporating a three-meter telescope and a laser with 10,000 fibers, giving it the ability to deorbit debris with a range of approximately 100 kilometers," scientist Toshikazu Ebisuzaki, who led the laser development effort, said in a Riken statement.

"Looking further to the future, we could create a free-flyer mission and put it into a polar orbit at an altitude near 800 kilometers, where the greatest concentration of debris is found," said Ebisuzaki.

While it's not quite the Death Star, Ebisuzaki said the laser would have plenty enough punch to do the clean-up project around Earth's orbit.

"Our proposal is radically different form the more conventional approach that is ground-based, and we believe it is a more manageable approach that will be accurate, fast, and cheap," said Ebisuzaki.

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
A group of international scientists are hoping to test an experimental laser on the International Space Station that could vaporize and knock space junk out of Earth's orbit.
iss, laser, weapon, blast, space, junk
396
2015-54-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:54 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved