first_imgThe space around our planet is full of trash. And it’s becoming a problem. Even the tiniest piece of metal floating in space can cause serious damage to shuttles and satellites, and there are more than 500,000 pieces of junk more than one centimeter big in orbit around the Earth.NASA’s proposed solution is a giant laser beam that could eradicate the waste. It would be a 5kw ground-based laser that would slow down individual pieces of space junk, as opposed to disintegrating them outright. Then, once they’re slowed enough, they will fall out of orbit with the planet, putting them out of harm’s way. And it wouldn’t even be that expensive to build, costing an estimated $1 million, a fraction of NASA’s overall budget.A similar idea was cooked up back in the 1990’s, though it involved creating a laser that could actually destroy floating pieces of debris. But due to the fears of creating a potential death laser, the plans obviously never went through.Via Inhabitatlast_img read more