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toothdust
2008-Oct-21, 03:54 AM
If we are going to (hopefully) make a renaissance into space, we are going to have to start by cleaning up our sloppy mess we seem to have ourselves.

I was thinking some kind of laser array, or a series or laser satellites to pinpoint and vaporize pieces of debris. Is this technology feasible?

Any other ideas?

PraedSt
2008-Oct-21, 05:25 AM
If you have the patience to go through it all toothdust, there are some good replies by BAUTers to my Q&A question:http://www.bautforum.com/questions-answers/79490-space-debris-why-dangerous.html

More a statement of the problem, and detection and avoidance, rather than cleaning up solutions, but it might help. (I think we decided cleaning up was too difficult :))

JustAFriend
2008-Oct-22, 01:18 PM
Dig up Andy Griffith???
http://www.livescience.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/thevulture_logo.jpg

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-22, 02:37 PM
Dig up Andy Griffith???

Seeing as how he isn't dead yet (according to online sources), we may not have to dig too far.

jlhredshift
2008-Oct-22, 03:05 PM
Dig up Andy Griffith???

Seeing as how he isn't dead yet (according to online sources), we may not have to dig too far.

JustAFriend is referring to a TV movie wherein Andy Griffith is in the space salvage business.

Larry Jacks
2008-Oct-23, 05:36 PM
Cleaning up existing space junk is a very difficult problem. The best thing is to do what we can to prevent creating more space junk in the future. Space debris below about 300 kilometers high will eventually decay. That above 500 kilometers high (such as the thousands of pieces from the Chinese ASAT test last year) will be up there for a long time (over a century for some pieces). We need to stop doing that.

There are other things we can do to reduce space junk. For satellites with propulsion systems and in LEO or highly eccentric orbits (e.g. Molynia), we can urge their owners to lower the perigee at the end of life to speed up the decay process. For the spent rocket bodies used to launch these satellites, perhaps there is a way to put some sort of retrorocket to lower the perigee following satellite release. GEO satellite operators often supersynch their satellites to get them out of the way at the end of life - it'd take way too much propellant to cause them to reenter the atmosphere. Many booster operators now vent unused propellants from rocket bodies to prevent explosions, too. Still, there's more we can do to reduce the amount of debris created.

Antares7
2008-Oct-23, 05:51 PM
Cleaning up existing space junk is a very difficult problem. The best thing is to do what we can to prevent creating more space junk in the future. Space debris below about 300 kilometers high will eventually decay. That above 500 kilometers high (such as the thousands of pieces from the Chinese ASAT test last year) will be up there for a long time (over a century for some pieces). We need to stop doing that.

...there's more we can do to reduce the amount of debris created.

Excellent reply; it addresses both questions (current/future). Difficult to believe, on a starry night, that we're actually peering through a layer of debris. :( A pity the "better brains" in the science community didn't seek better controls sooner.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-23, 08:11 PM
... Difficult to believe, on a starry night, that we're actually peering through a layer of debris. :( ...

Hey; it aint that thick...
Well; I guess if you have two pieces in a layer in your field of view, it can technically be peered through... It's just that statement seems to imply something it really isn't.
Spread out over the area of about 2^8 square miles, the problem just aint there visually, it is certainly is there for danger though;

showboat
2008-Oct-26, 01:03 AM
One needs to counter intuitive approach.

In other word use a force field to capture energy from high velocity gamma rays [cosmic rays] as well as space molecular fragments, meteorites, and orbital junk.

If so would give a energy supply and a shield.

But I don't believe in manned mission.

A mars mission is too difficult for human psychology, and on mars and space theres no biosignal. Like the moon or the sun or magnetic planetary pulsation on the home world [one second per magnetic pulse].

Women menstrulate according to a moon cycle one month per moon cycle, so a bunch of mars astronaults might find it difficult thing, as no biological signals for a 1 AND 1/2 year just to travel.

And on mars and back another 1 and 1/2 years.

Reason ways there no aliens in space saucer ships as there no way to dupilcate such homeplanet biological
patterns.

Best to use small explore automatic craft.

Ronald Brak
2008-Oct-26, 01:44 AM
I was thinking some kind of laser array, or a series or laser satellites to pinpoint and vaporize pieces of debris. Is this technology feasible?

This has been suggested, although the idea is to zap space junk head on as it orbits so that a small amount of it vapourizes and acts like rocket thrust pushing the junk into a lower orbit so it will eventually burn up. It would need good targeting and shortwave radar, but it could work. Some drawbacks are space junk tumbles and a lot of pieces will end up being pushed in random directions, some of it is shiny which may cause laser energy to be reflected off at random angles, and the laser could cause space junk to break up creating more pieces.

But as technology improves it is possible that space junk could become valuable, or at least valuable enought to offset some of the cost of cleaning it up. Small solar sails could capture defunct satellites and pieces of space junk and slowly bring them in for recycling.

formulaterp
2008-Oct-26, 01:46 AM
One needs to counter intuitive approach.

In other word use a force field to capture energy from high velocity gamma rays [cosmic rays] as well as space molecular fragments, meteorites, and orbital junk.

If so would give a energy supply and a shield.

But I don't believe in manned mission.

A mars mission is too difficult for human psychology, and on mars and space theres no biosignal. Like the moon or the sun or magnetic planetary pulsation on the home world [one second per magnetic pulse].

Women menstrulate according to a moon cycle one month per moon cycle, so a bunch of mars astronaults might find it difficult thing, as no biological signals for a 1 AND 1/2 year just to travel.

And on mars and back another 1 and 1/2 years.

Reason ways there no aliens in space saucer ships as there no way to dupilcate such homeplanet biological
patterns.

Best to use small explore automatic craft.

Now how do we clean up thread junk?

Ronald Brak
2008-Oct-26, 02:05 AM
Now how do we clean up thread junk?

By asking new posters to stick to topic in a polite way so they hang around long enough to get the hang of things.

JonClarke
2008-Oct-26, 03:40 AM
As you are still new here (10 posts), welcome to the forum!



But I don't believe in manned mission.

A mars mission is too difficult for human psychology...

What's the evidence for going to Mars is too difficult for human psychology?



and on mars and space theres no biosignal. Like the moon or the sun or magnetic planetary pulsation on the home world [one second per magnetic pulse].

What do you mean by this?


Women menstrulate according to a moon cycle one month per moon cycle, so a bunch of mars astronaults might find it difficult thing...

Is the menstrual cycle truly lunar-regulared ? If so, how do you know that women could not adjust to Mars without it? If it is a genuine problem, send non-menstrating women, or just men.


as no biological signals for a 1 AND 1/2 year just to travel. And on mars and back another 1 and 1/2 years.

Again, what do you mean by this?


Best to use small explore automatic craft.

If we do this then we are limited to knowing only what automated craft can discover.

Jon

mugaliens
2008-Oct-26, 05:23 PM
I believe we've had, for several decades, at least, a tiny pill which neatly solves the biological trigger for meunstration. I'm curious as to how NASA handles this, but...

...getting back to space junk, there's no connection, so.

JonClarke
2008-Oct-26, 08:54 PM
I believe we've had, for several decades, at least, a tiny pill which neatly solves the biological trigger for meunstration. I'm curious as to how NASA handles this, but....

It is just the modification of standard birth control pill taken continuously. It is certainly effective and has no ill effects over 6 months or so I am aware of. Women who have extremely unpleasant periods on Earth do the same.

Elimination of the menstural cycle for periods of a year or more is less known territory. But once female spacefarers are on the surface of Mars there is less need to do so. It is really only needed while in zero gravity.


..getting back to space junk, there's no connection, so.

Agreed

Jon

showboat
2008-Oct-27, 09:30 PM
I wasn't talking about a Woment, [I have spelling errors also]but so just send a all lesbian space force like John Carpeters the [Ghosts of Mars] unlikely:
what a crappy movie and wouldn't work.

I was talking about basic biosignals that is taken for granted but not fully researched.

A long mars mission is not the time to find out.

JonClarke
2008-Oct-28, 06:45 AM
I wasn't talking about a Woment, [I have spelling errors also]but so just send a all lesbian space force like John Carpeters the [Ghosts of Mars] unlikely:
what a crappy movie and wouldn't work.


I was talking about basic biosignals that is taken for granted but not fully researched.

What basic biosignals?


A long mars mission is not the time to find out.

If they really are relevant but under-studied, what makes you think they won't be researched before hand? How would you research them? What are the likely consequences of these effects?

Jon

showboat
2008-Oct-29, 12:08 AM
Gravity, as the moon. Magnetic pulsations as to the earths core.

Cancer might be a fast effect for the unfortunate marsonaults, and germs rapidly mutating, so not just about astronaut disorientation.

And not from cosmic rays but a basic biosignals breakdown and on Mars there wouldn't be any relief from even a visual however trained the astronault or marsonault.

JonClarke
2008-Oct-29, 10:08 AM
Gravity, as the moon.

In what way is gravity a biosignal?


Magnetic pulsations as to the earths core.

What magnetic pulsations are there in the Earth's core? How are these biosignals?

Do you realise you are using "biosignal" in an unusual way? Nomally "biosignal" means all kinds of signals that can be measured and monitored from biological beings. They might be chemical, magnetic, optical, or electrical in nature.


Cancer might be a fast effect for the unfortunate marsonaults, and germs rapidly mutating, so not just about astronaut disorientation.

Why would cancer be a "fast effect" for marsnauts? Why would it be faster than for other astronauts in, say earth orbit, on the Moon, or even people on Earth?

Why should rapidly mutating germs be a problem?


And not from cosmic rays but a basic biosignals breakdown and on Mars there wouldn't be any relief from even a visual however trained the astronault or marsonault.

Once again, what is a "basic biosignal breakdown"? Whay are these biosignals, and how do they break down?

What do you mean by "any relief from a visual"?

Jon

formulaterp
2008-Oct-29, 11:46 AM
I stand by my earlier comment in this thread.

Ronald Brak
2008-Oct-29, 12:01 PM
I look for a bigger comment to use as cover.

showboat
2008-Oct-29, 10:30 PM
In what way is gravity a biosignal?



What magnetic pulsations are there in the Earth's core? How are these biosignals?

Do you realise you are using "biosignal" in an unusual way? Nomally "biosignal" means all kinds of signals that can be measured and monitored from biological beings. They might be chemical, magnetic, optical, or electrical in nature.



Why would cancer be a "fast effect" for marsnauts? Why would it be faster than for other astronauts in, say earth orbit, on the Moon, or even people on Earth?

Why should rapidly mutating germs be a problem?



Once again, what is a "basic biosignal breakdown"? Whay are these biosignals, and how do they break down?

What do you mean by "any relief from a visual"?

Jon

I will try to answer such.

A biosignal as used is the bodys natural use of inherently sensed planetary phenomenon such a day and night cycles, moon rotation etc thats used to regulate biological cycles by the human body.


This is a reply to the germ problem.
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/spacefungus1.html

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/09/25/germs.in.space.ap/index.html

gravity problem

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/6098.php

and thats going to have to do for today.

The Sun cycle.

The Sun is going down indicating rest and sleep and watching TV.

But getting back to the space junk problem.

Thats a orbital problem.

So either getting rid of the space junk or making the satillite immune are the only options.

I can't think of a way to get rid of the space junk except by ensnaring them somehow into a growing one piece of ball like garbage.

JonClarke
2008-Oct-30, 09:31 PM
I will try to answer such.

A biosignal as used is the bodys natural use of inherently sensed planetary phenomenon such a day and night cycles, moon rotation etc thats used to regulate biological cycles by the human body.

OK, that's not the normal use of the term, but I know what you mean, thanks.


This is a reply to the germ problem.
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/spacefungus1.html


http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/space/09/25/germs.in.space.ap/index.html

And sensationalist reporting aside, how is this anything other than an issue to be tracked? we cope with more numerous, more diverse, and nastier bugs every day.

gravity problem

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/6098.php

[/QUOTE]

Several people have spent longer in space than several Mars mission profiles. Scores have flown multiple missions equiavlent in length to the trip to and from Mars.

Bone density loss is an issue, but it is not a show stopper for going to Mars.


The Sun cycle.

The Sun is going down indicating rest and sleep and watching TV.

Not a problem on Mars because the sol is only a few minutes longer than a day. people have lived for weeks on Martian time without a problem.

Might be an issue on the Moon, but hardly a show stopper. Thousands of people cope with polar days and nights every year, millions with jet lag.

Again, a minor issue


But getting back to the space junk problem.

Thats a orbital problem.

So either getting rid of the space junk or making the satillite immune are the only options.

I can't think of a way to get rid of the space junk except by ensnaring them somehow into a growing one piece of ball like garbage.

Design spacecraft to produce less junk (already in place). Prevention is better than cure.

Deorbit some spacecraft and most stages at the end of their missions (old stages blowing up is a major source of debris). Again, prevention better than cure.

DON"T TEST ANTI-SATELLITE WEAPONS!!!! (one of the biggest single source of debris)

Using orbital lasters to target and deorbit debris (would probably work, but who would be trusted with such technology?)

Jon

toothdust
2008-Oct-31, 04:07 PM
After doing some reading here and elsewhere, I don't agree that this is a monumental problem. A big problem yes, but when we are reading to graduate to the stars, I am sure we will come up with something. And besides, right now it is not economical to do so, we aren't even close to widespread space travel. Once the need arises, the cost benefit ratio will flip, and I have no doubt we will find a way to do it.

zerocold
2008-Nov-01, 08:45 PM
Hmmm a big bad magnet?:think:

HEy! it could be a good idea :p

Nicolas
2008-Nov-02, 09:04 AM
How about systems that clear the path of your craft (ie, a shield orbiting in front of you) rather than a system to clean up the whole near-earth space? Learn to walk before trying to run...

What type of shield is yet to be determined of course ;)

Ronald Brak
2008-Nov-02, 11:59 AM
Using orbital lasters to target and deorbit debris (would probably work, but who would be trusted with such technology?)

We do much sillier things such as let airplanes fly over populated areas and buying food that been processed by complete strangers who could have done anything to it. Set up a boring business model where companies get paid for reducing debris and we will calmly accept megawatt lasers zapping away above our heads, and we will sue like heck if something goes wrong, same as when a chunk of ice from an airplane falls through the roof or you find a rat in your can of chilli.

mugaliens
2008-Nov-02, 08:22 PM
How about systems that clear the path of your craft (ie, a shield orbiting in front of you) rather than a system to clean up the whole near-earth space? Learn to walk before trying to run...

What type of shield is yet to be determined of course ;)

That idea has some serious merit, particularly if the delta-v of the accelerated space junk results in a lower total energy, causing it's orbit to decay slightly.

The resulting push to the craft generating the shild/field will cause it's orbit to increase slightly. Or, preferably, counteract the decaying effects of constantly running into all that space junk!

Nicolas
2008-Nov-02, 08:51 PM
Sometimes I'm so pragmatic, it makes me sick.

You could also have a shield orbiting completely disconnected from the craft but in the same orbit, for example if you don't want it to block forward view (for instruments, communication, sensors...or sightseeing). Then of course you wouldn't have the benefit of the energy exchange, but neither the disadvantages of energy exchange in unwanted directions. That would mean though, that for longer duration missions, you'd need a small booster thruster on the shield if it's disconnected from the craft.

JonClarke
2008-Nov-02, 09:01 PM
We do much sillier things such as let airplanes fly over populated areas and buying food that been processed by complete strangers who could have done anything to it. Set up a boring business model where companies get paid for reducing debris and we will calmly accept megawatt lasers zapping away above our heads, and we will sue like heck if something goes wrong, same as when a chunk of ice from an airplane falls through the roof or you find a rat in your can of chilli.

It's not so much the public liability issue, so much as the fact that such a system would also be a potential antisatellite system in its own right.

Jon

JonClarke
2008-Nov-02, 09:04 PM
How about systems that clear the path of your craft (ie, a shield orbiting in front of you) rather than a system to clean up the whole near-earth space? Learn to walk before trying to run...

What type of shield is yet to be determined of course ;)

We already fit some satellites with debris shields, as I understand. of course you have to be careful that such shields do not generate even more debris when struck....

Nicolas
2008-Nov-02, 09:25 PM
I was think more along the lines of a shield designed specifically at getting rid of (catching, deorbiting, whatevering) any debris (up to a certain size :)) or micro-meteoroids it encounters, rather than the type of shielding we use now, which is designed only to protect the craft.

I must add that for really tiny debris such as paint particles, the impact energy will evaporate the debris and hence gets rid of it anyway. So you'd only get a benefit for slightly larger debris.

I'm just thinking out loud. I should have some statistics on what size and type of debris occurs in what numbers, what kind of problems it creates, and what happens when hitting different kinds of shield materials (say, hard vs sticky, to keep it simple) before I can judge where the problems and solutions really can be found.

But in any case, it may be more practical to create small size "body guards" just for the orbit of a specific craft (whether that is a separate system or incorporated in the craft itself, say as a shield skin, is YTBD) than a system that cleans the whole of near-earth space.

JonClarke
2008-Nov-02, 10:19 PM
It would also be interesting to discover the rate at which debris clears itself. Debris in LEO or in elliptical orbit with low perigee does burn up over a period time time. What that period is, I have no idea. Debris in high orbit is very different problem, although light pressure an the solar wind might disperse some of it.

Jon