It's becoming increasingly common these days for new and upcoming technological innovations to sound like plotlines from bad sci-fi movies. But so advanced has science become that ideas which sounded ridiculous and impossible even on paper two decades ago are being worked on.
One such idea was destroying celestial bodies and other wandering structures in space, and while we've all done that in video games, a team of scientists in Australia is working to make it happen in reality.
In the 53 years since Yuri Gagarin became the first man ever to enter space, we humans have spread all sorts of garbage up there. Experts say there are about 300,000 bits of wreckage and trash orbiting our Earth at such high speed that they are a major threat to the network of satellite systems that power our communications down here.
Hence, a bit of cleaning up is in order and that's exactly what the said team of Aussie scientists intend to do. Their plan basically is to zap the orbiting debris with lasers from Earth so the satellites could be saved from any 'cascade of collisions' in future.
"It’s important that it’s possible on that scale because there’s so much space junk up there,” said Matthew Colless, director of Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. “We’re perhaps only a couple of decades away from a catastrophic cascade of collisions ... that takes out all the satellites in low orbit."
A deal with NASA to use their facilities in the US has been struck and a research fund of $60 million has been set up to make this concept ability available for use in the next 10 years.
For now, we leave you with this image to help you grab the concept: