Humans clearly have a trash problem on Earth, but our track record isn’t that much better in outer space, where tens of thousands of stray debris fragments whip around the planet at rip-roaring speeds, posing a very serious danger to astronauts and satellites.
I wasn’t worried. Were you worried?
Something lit up the sky over a whole swath of the lower Eastern states last night, catching eyes all the way from Florida up through West Virginia. So what are we looking at here? A meteor, perhaps, or a fireball? Nope, it’s actually something a lot stranger.
How will we clean up the giant (and steadily increasing) trash vortex that swirls around our little blue planet? Perhaps by harpooning it with these space fishing nets.
Japan's space agency, JAXA, is testing a giant, magnetic space net as a way to clean up space junk. Over at The New Scientist, they take a closer look at just what we can expect from the 700-meter long aluminum and steel net, set to launch next month.