Man-made garbage turns space into comsic dump yardJuly 22nd, 2010 - 6:58 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, July 22 (ANI): About 500,000 pieces of man-made garbage, from tiny scraps of metal to discarded fuel tanks as large as a bus, have made the space look like a cosmic rubbish dump.
All this waste, hurtling through space at over 30,000km/h, creates a serious traffic hazard for satellites.
But now pioneering Australian technology could help track the detritus and zap it with lasers, pushing it out of the way.
EOS Space Systems boss Craig Smith believes even the tiniest pieces of garbage pose are dangerous for satellites, spacecraft and astronauts - because the debris is travelling at such a massive speed, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The EOS system involves special cameras peering into the night sky to locate the debris.
Lasers are then fired at the debris from a station on Mt Stromlo in the ACT. The objective is to eventually establish a network of lasers across the globe.
Work is also under way to develop a more powerful laser that can punch the debris out of orbit so that it no longer poses a threat. (ANI)
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Tags: astronauts, australian technology, craig smith, daily telegraph, debris, detritus, eos system, fuel tanks, garbage, globe work, lasers, mt stromlo, night sky, orbit, pieces of man, rubbish, scraps, space systems, spacecraft, traffic hazard