Boeing Patents Idea for Blasting Space Junk With Gas

NASA/Public Domain

A US patent application filed on September 27 by Boeing suggests that puff of gas could be a great solution for bringing down the debris floating around the planet, New Scientist reports.

The range of ideas for how to eliminate the problematic flotsam in space is fun to watch, but as more realistic ideas come out, it's become downright fascinating.

Boeing's idea is to launch a rocket with a tank of cryogenic inert gas, intercept a load of space junk and shoot the gas at the load. The burst would be enough to slow the debris, which would send it falling toward Earth to burn up in the atmosphere. Sounds better than ideas we've heard before like shooting water at debris or cleaning it up with specially designed space junk trucks.

New Scientist writes, "After more than 50 years of space flight, so much litter has accumulated that some experts predict near-Earth space will become difficult to navigate by mid-century unless agencies start removing the mess."

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Technology

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