NASA Considers Using Lasers To Avoid Space Junk
“Space junk” and debris in Earth orbit is a big and growing danger to space vehicles, satellites and even the International Space Station. That's why NASA scientists are looking at a new option for reducing the dangers of orbiting clutter.
It's conceivable that in the worst case scenario, even a small piece of space debris could destroy anything it hits, including a space vehicle and the space station.
Space travelers would be killed. The threat is so serious that astronauts on the space station are forced to take refuge in an escape capsule during close encounters with space debris.
NASA scientists think a mid-power laser could be used to gently nudge the objects off their collision course. Unlike lasers that have been used in the past, this new laser would not be able to vaporize the debris. It would just move it out of the way.
The laser would be fired into space from the ground. One of the scientists says it would be powerful enough to move a piece of orbiting debris hundreds of feet off a collision course. Stay tuned.