With hundreds of bits of space junk circulating in low orbit around the Earth, collisions have starting to become a real concern. Now in the latest of several plans to deal with this stuff, a group of scientists is proposing a giant Earth based laser to zap the junk out of orbit.

Earlier this year we saw a NASA plan to use a ground-based laser to clean up some of the smaller bits, and in the same vein a group of scientist want a more powerful laser that can blast even the biggest satellites from the sky.

Blasting the junk to smithereens would simply create a bigger problem, so the idea is to just tip the pieces out of their orbit, causing the smaller pieces to burn up during reentry while big stuff would splash to Earth in the Pacific Ocean. Obviously they would need to be pretty good shots to get timing and strike position just right.

While the proposal sounds suspiciously like a James Bond plot, some countries that have important military satellites flying around are kind of nervous about this plan. The scientists proposing the laser system suggest that operation would have to be a multinational effort.

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