We’re still a long way away from being able to target a torpedo down an exhaust shaft that’s only two meters wide, but the University of Surrey’s RemoveDEBRIS satellite just did something that could put mankind squarely on the road toward being able to one day blow up a Death Star.
From a distance of 20 meters, RemoveDEBRIS shot a harpoon into a piece of junk and brought it back. Not impressed? Oh, it’s probably because I neglected to tell you the junk was floating through space when it was harpooned successfully.
You can’t help but be pretty excited by watching the harpoon shoot out away from you and impale the space junk in the background dead-on. The head of the spear penetrates right through the debris, which you can see,only adding to the awesomeness of the new invention. In just a 20 second clip, you see a whole lot of scientific innovation.
This is the third contribution that the Surrey team has made in the effort to clean up the massive amount of space junk building up in orbit around our planet. Earlier, they were able to fire a net at debris and snag it, and they also developed a camera that helps identify the junk that needs to be reeled in.
Obviously RemoveDEBRIS gives us a glimpse of hope that we’ll be able to start one day soon cleaning up our orbit. There’s already so much arguing about cleaning up our environment down here, planet side, so let’s hope the efforts to clean up the environment above it don’t get bogged down with the same political fighting.
If we don’t start getting a handle on the dead satellites and various space debris circling our heads, you have to wonder if we’ll start running into issues launching new satellites or building new space apparatuses.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.