Scientists in Australia have developed a world-first laser that zaps space junk, blasting them out of orbit to avoid catastrophic collisions.
Experts say millions of pieces of debris pose a risk to astronauts and billions of dollars worth of satellites.
Leading the effort is Dr Ben Greene, CEO of space intelligence firm EOS.
He says it will be a “real breakthrough for space technology worldwide”.
The technology will help protect $900 billion-worth of satellites and crucial space infrastructure orbiting earth.
“We depend on space for our banking, navigation, movement of groceries and supplies across the country,” Greene told Nine News.
Aimed at billions of stars, the laser pinpoints a piece of junk, another laser far more powerful and invisible to the naked eye is fired at the debris to shunt it from orbit.
“The risk from space debris is substantial and increasing,” Greene said, with almost 130,000 million pieces of debris surrounds earth.
“We’ve polluted space so badly,” he said.
Everything from broken bits of spacecraft, screws, nuts and bolts, dead satellites, to urns containing human remains – but there’s so much, it’s putting space travel at risk.
A team from EOS has spent seven years working on the world-first technology.