Using Harpoons And Lasers To Destroy Space Garbage
If you've never heard of Kessler Syndrome, then it's my pleasure to give you something new and terrifying to be afraid of: space garbage. But what's so scary about space garbage? Is it going to attract space raccoons? Worse than that, I'm afraid. There are tons of crap in orbit around Earth -- over 20,000 pieces over four inches, plus hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces, all of which are whipping around at over 17,500 miles per hour. So imagine a squad of drunken space men up there spraying machine gun fire 24 hours a day.
Kessler Syndrome refers to a hypothetical scenario in which a large piece of debris collides with another, starting a chain reaction of junk hitting each other and breaking into smaller pieces, exponentially increasing the amount of trash around the planet. According to Donald J. Kessler, former chief scientist of NASA's orbital debris program, this would make low-Earth orbit basically nonviable for generations, and it could take down satellites. We would, for all intents and purposes, be planet-bound.
So what are we to do? Well, it turns out that we can get rid of space garbage the way we get rid of unwanted body hair: with bigass lasers. But the lasers wouldn't blow up the debris like the Death Star, since that would just make more debris. Instead, they would heat up individual pieces of junk to raise them into a graveyard orbit or pull them down to crash harmlessly in the ocean, where it can only hurt us by inspiring the plot of the next Aquaman movie.