In spite of the fact that only a few humans have stepped out into space, we humans have already managed to make a junkyard out of #outerspace. #Spacedebris or junk consisting of broken or #discardedspacecraftparts, #launchvehicles is crowding out #telecommunicationsatellites and #spacecraftsorbitingtheEarth, and putting humans at risk. Approximately half a million pieces of space junk, moving at speeds of roughly 17,500 mph (28,164 km/h) are currently orbiting the Earth; at such speeds, even a particle of debris can cause serious damage to a spacecraft or satellite; tiny flecks of paint have been known to cause cracks in #spaceshuttlewindows.

With the volume of space junk reaching the 7000-tonne mark, space junk has now become a serious concern for #spaceagencies like #NASA, #ESA, and #ISRO. It has also been suggested that at a certain stage the sheer volume of space junk will trigger a cascade of collisions which would render an orbit unusable. Space organizations like NASA say that #avoidingcollisionofspacedebris is easier said than done; there are far too many parameters which affect an orbiting piece of space junk.

To counter this menace, researchers in #Russia are developing #cosmicguns capable of blasting the space junk into oblivion. #PrecisionInstrumentSystems, an arm within the Russian space agency, #Roscosmos has recently submitted a proposal for converting a #debrismonitoringtelescope into a #lasercannon capable of vaporizing the space debris.

Earlier this year, the Chinese have proposed another laser-based approach of dealing with space debris; their solution included using #satellitemountedlasers to nudge the orbiting space debris into a lower orbit.

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