Make collecting space garbage cool again!
“The problem with space debris is that once you have a collision, you’re creating even more space debris … You have an increased likelihood of causing another collision, which will create even more debris. There’s a cascade effect.” “Hammerl and a team led by Professor Hanspeter Schaub have a plan for stopping those cascades before they start. The researchers are drawing on one of the oldest tropes in science fiction: tractor beams like the ones the Starship Enterprise uses to safely move asteroids out of the way. Imagine this: In the not-so-distant future, a fleet of small spacecraft could whiz around Earth, rendezvousing with dead hunks of metal in geosynchronous orbit around the planet. Then, using devices called “electron beams,” these space dumpster trucks would slowly haul that debris to safety without ever having to touch it—all by tapping into the same kind of physics that make your socks stick to your pants in the dryer.”—”Space tractor beams may not be the stuff of sci-fi for long.”