I came across an article which summarized a paper outlining some alternative methods for debris elimination. I would not suggest reading either, but they do provide nice examples of some problems when talking about space debris.
This is the article http://www.asianscientist.com/in-the-lab/space-debris-nanobots-decayable-materials-lasers-2012/ and the paper is here: http://www.asianscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/m3india13_Jan2012.pdf (pgs 31-36)
Firstly, it suggests attaching a laser to the ISS. This is simply never going to happen. Beyond any technical difficulties, the ISS is actually a collection of national modules, either the laser would have to be part of a new, international module, or it would be the property of one nation that could use it under their national authority. It would also make the ISS, a symbol of peaceful space cooperation, an orbital space weapon.
Most ridiculously, they suggest creating debris ‘shields’ around the ISS to protect it against incoming debris. Beyond the fact that you would first have to collect…
View original post 219 more words