New Delhi: A 106-year-old Japanese fishing net maker has come up with a solution to rid Earth's orbit of the space debris that is cluttering it up.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is working together with Nitto Seimo Co. to develop a mesh material that will help tether and drag bus-size pieces of space junk into the atmosphere for incineration.
After it is tested in orbit next month, scientists will receive their first indication of how the metallic line is functioning, said project chief Koichi Inoue, an associate principal researcher at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Times of India (TOI) reported.
The space clean-up is important because it will help safe guard astronauts and about $900 billion worth of space stations, satellites and other infrastructure relied on for tele communications, weather forecasting, Earth-monitoring and navigation.
As per the TOI, with debris travelling at up to 17,500 miles an hour (approx. 28,163kmph), the impact of even a marble size projectile can cause catastrophic damage as portrayed in the Academy Award-winning movie 'Gravity'.
Japan isn't the only country making efforts to clean up space junk. Since the growing space debris pose a huge risk when it comes to space travel, many space faring nations around the world are coming up with different strategies to get rid of the debris where they can't collide with operational equipment. NASA's Hubble Telescope, for example, has a 1cm hole in one of its dish antennas and solar panels have been cracked and chipped by tiny debris, according to the space agency.