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Japanese company planning space debris removal by laser on satellite


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5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tadanori Fukushima, project leader at Sky Perfect JSAT, said there will be demand for the service as businesses launching satellites often face the challenge of removing debris in the same orbit.

A financial insentive for the removal of space debris (junk) sounds good, but the question is who would be the payer.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just call the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol. I'm sure Quark and the Bettys can do a much better job.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Easy enough to weaponize the service too

2 ( +2 / -0 )

shinhiyataToday  07:57 am JST

Just call the United Galaxy Sanitation Patrol. I'm sure Quark and the Bettys can do a much better job.

I remember that silly TV show. 'Picking up all the trash in the Milky Way'. Yeah, right!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rick HepnerToday 09:07 am JST

Easy enough to weaponize the service too

If the laser can push old satellites and space junk out of orbit, then it can presumably do the same to new and still functioning orbital items. I would say it is already a weapon designed to de-orbit any enemies spy satellites and military equipment. This also makes it a primary target.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It can also be used to shoot down ballistic missiles as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds good in theory, but I would like to hear more. For instance, much of the junk in orbit is spent rocket bodies, many of which have been in orbit for decades. Spent rocket bodies have a lot of mass, and it will take more than a hint and a nod to change an orbit so that the object burns up in the atmosphere. Something that weighs a few pounds might be moved economically, but something that weighs tons, and has been in orbit for many decades, will take a mighty shove to move into a lower orbit.

Take a look at rocket body SL-8. It is the upper stage rocket used by Russia in 1991 to put a satellite into orbit. It is in a near circular orbit, at about 960 kms altitude. To move it into an orbit below 300 kms, where it can realistically be expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up at some point, would take a lot of energy.

Another example is one of the CZ-4B rocket bodies, launched by China in 2002. It orbits at over 800 kms altitude. Will a gentle shove with a laser suddenly cause it to go low enough to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere?

Rocket body SL-3, Norad id # 877, was launched by the USSR in 1964. It has been in orbit for 56 years. Its perigee is 658 km. How much power would a laser have to expend to lower this rocket body into an orbit where it can realistically be expected to self-destruct?

The subject of the article is an important one, but the article is very light on details.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There was a point in time when I actually thought that the nations of the Earth might cooperate in space, like we did with Russia and the ISS. With people like Putin and Trump in power, I think the chances of further cooperation in space are remote. Perhaps with a change in leadership, things will improve.

At the moment, it seems likely that satellites powerful enough to do something about space junk will instead be used to be prepared for warfare in space.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No matter where we go, we litter it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

will this generate more unintended debris with haywire orbits endangering other working satellites ? and anyone can use this as a cover for launching satellite killers ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Stick some lasers on them capable of dealing with Chinese enemy satellites.


I bet China is thinking about it already.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Better send a few up there.

There's a lot of rubbish in space.

While they're at it, might as well use it as a ballistic missile destroyer, if it has enough range and power...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China already has a similar plan years ago

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Laser requires a lot of power...

I hope Tax payer's money isnt going into this project.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope they're painted to look like sharks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a tremendous amount of debris in orbits around Earth, most of it probably from the US, Russia (USSR), and China, but also Japan, Europe, India, and everyone else launching space probes. Perhaps the countries which put the debris up there will take responsibility for removing it? Instead of talking about targeting each other's satellites, work together to remove the dangerous debris.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My concern is this may create more debris than it removes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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