Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The new killer app: the rocket-powered 'super soaker' (?)

The Wall Street Journal has an article that outlines various proposals for cleaning up the growing quantity of space junk that is building up over our heads - A Cosmic Question: How to Get Rid Of All That Orbiting Space Junk? These ideas include ground-based lasers and garbage collecting satellites that would grab, snag or vacuum up the stuff. The most interesting is one proposed by aerospace engineer Jim Hollopeter. His idea is to load old rockets with water and spray down the orbiting junk. Maybe another niche for the growing new-space industry? What could be better than new-space cleaning up the old?