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## Giant Balloons Could Solve Space Junk Problem210

An anonymous reader writes "More than 100,000 objects bigger than a centimeter wide hover around our planet, accounting for 4 million pounds of junk that befouls our atmosphere and threatens the expensive satellites we actually want in orbit. Dr. Kristen Gates, of Global Aerospace Corporation, proposes that we can clear the skies by attaching a football field-sized balloon to dead satellites, which would increase the orbital drag, eventually bringing a satellite down into the atmosphere where it would burn up. The GOLD — or Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device — unit is easily inflated in space, and best of all, if the deployed GOLD balloon collides with space junk, it won't deflate or break the junk into smaller, less manageable bits."
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## Giant Balloons Could Solve Space Junk Problem

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• #### This just might be stupid enough to work (Score:2, Funny)

<dbryant@atomicdeathray.com> on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @07:17PM (#33145092) Homepage
If you could find a way to make the exterior sticky as it's being deployed, then anything in a similar orbit and speed would be swept up as well. And I shall call it... The Space-Swiffer!
• #### Help (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @07:29PM (#33145194)
I'm having a problem understanding how filling low-earth-orbit with Zerg Overlords is a good thing.
• #### Re:pop! (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @07:34PM (#33145260)

No Astronauts needed, just one Battery Operated Rubish Gatherer (BORG)

• #### Yes, but can they make the surface sticky? (Score:2, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @08:06PM (#33145502)
Ok, now that you have a huge football field sized balloon, why not make the outside surface sticky and collect other bits of space junk on the way to the burn?
• #### Re:Yes, but can they make the surface sticky? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @08:15PM (#33145564)

Because it will never catch them?

You can test this at home with this simple procedure.

1. Get a sheet of mylar and some sticks, an emergency blanket will do.

2. Using the mylar and some sticks make a your balloon. The sticks will help to simulate the structures that can hold their shape.

3. Tie this off to any structure. That structure will be the stand in satellite.

4. Cover the balloon in glue.

5. Get out your favorite high power firearm and fire some rounds at the balloon. These will be the space junk.

6. see if any bullets, your simulated space junk, got stuck in the glue

• #### Dr. Strangelove has an answer (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @08:16PM (#33145576) Journal

Set off a bunch of nukes in the upper atmosphere. This will cause the atmosphere to expand, increasing drag and sending LEO space debris plummeting to earth.

Of course there will be side effects, but hey, it's NUKES.

• #### Move it already (Score:2, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @08:57PM (#33145892)

Why don't we just do like we always do: Instead of cleaning up the place, move Earth to a less cluttered location in space?

• #### Re:pop! (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @08:59PM (#33145900)
Sandford and Son in Spaaaaaaace?
• #### Call them Rovers (Score:2, Funny)

on Thursday August 05, 2010 @12:13AM (#33146844)
They were able to keep #6 in the village so they should be good at collecting the space junk.

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