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Comments on Australians To Zap Space Junk Ala Arthur C. Clarke
'[They] could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1978. (Read the complete story)

"Science fiction writers of all sorts, in a variety of media, have been sounding the warning about space debris for generations, and placing the solutions into popular culture where they can be part of the lives of engineers and policymakers.

For example, consider the 1977 television series Quark. This comedy, created by legendary writer Buck Henry, described the activities of the United Galaxies Sanitation Patrol Cruiser, an interstellar garbage scow.

(Richard Benjamin and the Barnstable twins)

Richard Benjamin played Adam Quark, who worked to clean up trash in space. He is ably assisted by the Bettys, played by the Doublemint twins (Cyb and Patricia Barnstable).

In his 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke uses Operation Cleanup to make sure that low earth orbit is clear of debris for the newly constructed space elevator.

Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task. Their radars - designed to locate oncoming missles at extreme ranges with no advance warning - could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age. Then their lasers vaporized the smaller satellites, while the larger ones were nudged into higher and harmless orbits.

Fans may also recall Planetes, an anime series published by Makoto Yakimura in Japan starting in 1999. The series follows a team of debris cleaners who clear space junk from flight paths.

Planetes cover art

See also NanoTerminator Prevents Annoying Space Debris Build-Up and Debris Cloud From Chinese ASAT A Menace To Space Lanes."
(Bill Christensen 3/13/2014 2:19:25 PM)

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