Japan launches attack on an enemy in space

Japan launches attack on an enemy in space

No, not aliens, but rather space junk, and its new tool will "whip" it into shape.

Japan has just completed a crucial launch of a new weapon aimed at dealing with a threat in space that isn’t sentient, but a big problem nonetheless: space junk. And they’re using a cable that is about six football fields long to “whip” the debris out of orbit.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kounotori 6 craft will deploy a tether that measures about 2,300 feet, creating a huge clothesline in space that will help clean up an estimated 20,000 pieces of space debris hurtling around Earth and causing problems for satellites and other valuable equipment, according to a statement from JAXA.

The tool is being called EDT, or electrodynamic tether. It would redirect space junk into our atmosphere, where they would harmlessly burn up.

You can watch video of the delicate operation below.


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