Scientist suggests use of rocket-powered water gun to blow away space junk

March 12th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 12 (ANI): An aerospace engineer has suggested the use of rocket-powered water gun to blow away space junk, which includes about thousands of pieces of useless equipment circling Earth.

According to a report by Fox News, the aerospace engineer in question is Jim Hollopeter, who, in the 1980s, helped design rockets that shot into orbit.

Today, some of those launchers are still cluttering up space, and Hollopeter wants to wash them away with a rocket-powered water gun.

Bits of spent rocket boosters, old exploded satellites and tools dropped by space-walking astronauts are just some of the trash racing along in the near-vacuum of space.

The volume of man-made space debris has grown so large that scientists say garbage now poses a bigger safety threat to the U.S. space shuttle than an accident on liftoff or landing.

The International Space Station (ISS) occasionally fires thrusters to dodge junk.

The problem hit home on February 10, when a defunct Russian military satellite smashed into an American one used for commercial communications, spewing shards across thousands of cubic miles.

The crash prompted Hollopeter to refine designs for a concept he had long toyed with: Using aging rockets loaded with water to spray orbiting junk.

His idea is that the extraterrestrial shower would gradually knock refuse down toward the atmosphere, where it would burn up, as would the launcher.

The water would turn to steam.

According to Heiner Klinkrad, who runs the European Space Agencys Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany, We need to treat space like a national park carry out what you carry in. (ANI)

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