Space debris vacuum cleaner answer to space debris?

With the recent satellite collision fresh on everyone's minds and the U.S. delaying the Shuttle launch yet again, it might be a good idea to bring in the Space Debris Vacuum Cleaner. This vacuum cleaner, a concept put together by the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama, would be technology designed to detect, engage, and capture any space debris (man-made or natural) that could damage orbiting satellites or space vehicles.

Currently, NORAD tracks space debris down to the size of a tennis ball. The technology that they envision would be capable of detecting debris down to the size of a small marble. A constellation of space shuttle-like vehicles with a great deal of maneuvering fuel and storage area could be used with high power radars to detect space particles it wanted to capture. High power lasers would then be used to alter the particle's path, in a sense `sweeping` them into the proper orbit so they could be intercepted by the space shuttle-like vehicles.

News source: Tech Fragments

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13 Comments

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cybertimber2008 said,
How can you just think that?
You can't suck air without air to suck!

If a tree, fell in a forest of no trees... waaaiiiiittttt.


I was thinking the same thing about no air. It would cost way to much money and to take to much man power to be successful.

n a sense `sweeping` them into the proper orbit so they could be intercepted by the space shuttle-like vehicles.

Yeah, right! Like that is going to happen.

I seriously doubt that will even be attempted. Any item small enough for its path to be radically altered by a shuttle born laser will also be too small to send a vehicle out to sweep up. Bet the real plan is just to alter their orbit into a severely decaying orbit and let the atmosphere eat them up. Makes a lot more sense anyways.

kirkdickinson said,
Yeah, right! Like that is going to happen.

I seriously doubt that will even be attempted. Any item small enough for its path to be radically altered by a shuttle born laser will also be too small to send a vehicle out to sweep up. Bet the real plan is just to alter their orbit into a severely decaying orbit and let the atmosphere eat them up. Makes a lot more sense anyways.

ditto