Ready, Aim, Fire…!

Those who have read the Young Jedi Knights* saga from the original Star Wars* Expanded Universe may find the idea proposed in this piece familiar. One of the things that the Solo twins were allowed to do on their visits to Coruscant, the capital world of the New Republic, was to man the Millennium Falcon’s quad lasers so they could blast apart the space debris left over from the (many) battles that had taken place above that world.

It wasn’t something Han let them do just for the fun of it, either. The debris was a navigational hazard for ships, including his beloved freighter. Removing it by vaporizing it to atoms was a service to the entire New Republic.

And yes, it was fun for him and his kids. No one said he couldn’t hit two mynocks with one blaster bolt, now could they? 😉

For those who would like a look at what a real method for removing space junk may entail, click the link below to visit Popular Mechanics* website:

space junk, conceptual illustration

Scientists Want to Destroy Zombie Satellites With Lasers. What Could Go Wrong?

This space junk solution may cause problems of its own.

BY CAROLINE DELBERT AND COURTNEY LINDER

MAR 2, 2021

  • The right lasers could melt space junk, like satellites, into plasma.
  • The secret is to concentrate on space junk parts that we can reduce to nothing. Otherwise, blasting the wrong parts can create clouds of small debris.
  • Just one problem: having a laser to remove space junk also means having a laser that could destroy active satellites.

There are approximately 23,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 centimeters orbiting Earth, including about 3,000 defunct satellites, according to NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO). If any of these bits of space junk slam into each other, the collisions could lead to large swaths of debris that might hinder many space activities, including the use of satellites, for generations.

But a common cancer treatment may turn that troublesome space junk into harmless clouds of particles called plasma, Russian scientists say. Laser ablation—the process of removing materials from a solid surface by irradiating it with a laser beam—can destroy malignant tumors in the human body. It could also obliterate dead satellites.

Read more….

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If you liked this article, friend Caroline Furlong on Facebook or follow her here at www.carolinefurlong.wordpress.com. Her stories have been published in Cirsova’s Summer Special and Unbound III: Goodbye, Earth, while her poetry appeared in Organic Ink, Vol. 2. She has also had stories published in Planetary Anthologies Luna, Uranus, and Sol. Another story was released in Cirsova Magazine’s Summer Issue in 2020, and she recently had a story published in Storyhack Magazine’s 7th Issue and Cirsova Magazine’s 2021 Summer Issue. Order them today!

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