The construction of a three-meter optical telescope to be used as a laser cannon has already commenced. This telescope will be transformed into a giant laser if the project gets approval.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency has announced its plan of using a three-meter laser cannon to shoot down the space debris cluttering the lower orbit around Earth. Research-and-Production Corporation Precision Systems, a sub-division of Roscosmos is currently developing the technology required.
According to NASA, there are an estimated 500,000 pieces of space debris of the size of a marble or larger, travelling at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. Also, the smallest of these pieces can cause damage to the space crafts or satellites. Of these 500,000 pieces, around 20,000 are larger than the size of a softball, said a report by Russian International Television Network.
The construction of the three-meter optical telescope to be used as a laser cannon has already commenced. This telescope will be transformed into a giant laser if the project gets approval.
As per RIA Novosti - Russia's news agency - who has seen the report states, “The space trash destroyer will use the process known as “laser ablation” to remove the debris from spaceships or any other junk, like a cosmonaut's lost glove floating in low-earth orbit, which is between 160 to 2,000 kilometers (100-1,240 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The laser's energy heats an object that is pierced with a beam until it gradually evaporates.”
Every year, the number of space explorations is increasing leading to an increasing amount of space debris. In the recent past, many countries have tried to come up with innovative solutions to make the space around Earth clutter-free.While Japan attempted to clear debris using a 700-meter tether in 2017, China had suggested in February this year that the debris could be blasted by space-based lasers. Australia, on the other hand, is working on a photon-pressure laser that could nudge the junk and change their orbits.