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Waspie_Dwarf

Lasers to clean up space junk

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Lasers to clean up space junk

Mount Stromlo Observatory will play a lead role in cleaning up space junk under a new $20 million Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), announced by the Australian Government’s Industry Department.

The new CRC will help scientists find and track tiny pieces of debris orbiting the Earth, which pose serious risk of collision with satellites, space stations and other space craft, similar to the events portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie Gravity.

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We do have a lot of junk in orbit from all the launches of the decades. I know that on a number of occasions missions have had to change their path to avoid hitting some things.

I recall a wrench got away from one of the Shuttle MS's and NORAD tracked it so they didn't run into it and damage the shuttle. I had no idea NORAD could track such small objects that far up at the time.

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This is all the space junk out there. No wonder so many people see UFO's.

no-more-spacejunk-in-an-equal-money-system.jpg

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Holy Crap! For real? I'm surprised we have run into something as yet.

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Sounds like fun to me, target practise with a laser. I have dreamed of such things since 1977...

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Is it April the 1st already?

This is like something from a Rodger Moore Bond film

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They cant even track objects 10's of feet across (think of the vairios meteors in the past few years) so how on earth are they gona track nuts and bolts

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They cant even track objects 10's of feet across (think of the vairios meteors in the past few years) so how on earth are they gona track nuts and bolts

There's a bit of a difference between an object we already know about which is only a few hundred kilometres away and a rock we don't know is there which is several million kilometres away.

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It really is amazing we can track an object the size of a screw up to 2000km away at those speeds. And so many of them to boot. As for knocking them out of the sky, that's quite a hefty distance to ask of a laser. It would have to have some serious juice.

I like this though: “There’s no risk of missing and hitting a working satellite,” Colless said. “We can target them precisely. We really don’t miss.”

Everytime I hear an engineer say something like that I hear the words "God himself couldn't sink this ship..." lol :whistle:

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Never be a litter bug. It would be a cool job, I hope it works.

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Why zap one piece of debris at a time when you can use a net to collect a huge amount at once?

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Wow that's a lot of junk!

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Why zap one piece of debris at a time when you can use a net to collect a huge amount at once?

Not a bad thought except I imagine the relative speed of some of these objects might make that a bit tricky. Even a small object traveling at several thousand miles an hour can pack quite a punch. You'd have to match your trajectory to each one you were tracking and I'm guessing they aren't all moving about in a uniform way. That would have to be one strong net.

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This gives a whole new meaning to Skeet Shooting. :gun:

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Posted (edited)

if that pictures for real , a wouldnt like to think id be flying round in the ISS or anything to mars through all that ... ***SNIP***

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
3c. Profanity: Do not use profanity, crude language or attempt to deliberately bypass the profanity filters.

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Posted (edited)

if that pictures for real , a wouldnt like to think id be flying round in the ISS or anything to mars through all that ***SNIP***

Is it actually necessary to say that the picture is not real? The number and location of the satellites is probably close to the mark, but they are not that big. At that scale they would be 100 kilometres or so across, instead of their actual size of a few metres.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
profanity removed from quote.

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Posted (edited)

Not a bad thought except I imagine the relative speed of some of these objects might make that a bit tricky. Even a small object traveling at several thousand miles an hour can pack quite a punch. You'd have to match your trajectory to each one you were tracking and I'm guessing they aren't all moving about in a uniform way. That would have to be one strong net.

The net would be hundreds of kilometers wide on each side. Japan has such a net planned, as an article posted here recently mentioned.

Edited by Ashyne

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Why zap one piece of debris at a time when you can use a net to collect a huge amount at once?

Why limit yourself to only one method?

The net would be hundreds of kilometers wide on each side. Japan has such a net planned, as an article posted here recently mentioned.

It seems to me that such a net is going to need to be constantly manoeuvred in order for it to avoid functioning satellites. If it malfunctions in orbit it will, itself, become the biggest piece of space junk, and the biggest single threat to functioning satellites in history.

If a ground based laser fails then it simply stops working until the engineers fix it.

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I'd go mad with power if I was the one handling lasers to clean out debris.

"IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZOR!"

785972_f520.jpg

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I'd go mad with power if I was the one handling lasers to clean out debris.

"IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZOR!"

785972_f520.jpg

:w00t:

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