This is nothing if not a fun story, and the world could use more fun stories. It would appear that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, along with Nitto Seimo Co (an honest-to-goodness fishing net company), has come up with a plan to create a giant “fishing net” of sorts that would surround the planet. Why would we want a giant net around the planet? Oh, you know, just to collect space junk and prevent it from smashing into the many satellites that we have buzzing around up there.
The net would be carried up into space and then electrified, creating a sort of artificial magnetic field. The net would then hover around the planet, as seen in this artists’ impression, collecting space junk in the process. Space junk? You’d be surprised how much trash we humans have pumped into space since the days of Sputnik. There’s old, abandoned rocket parts, satellite parts, space craft—we’re just a bunch of litter bugs, really.
The Pentagon warned last year of the danger of space junk damaging communication satellites, the implication being that if we don’t do something about this soon we could very well be doomed. No DirecTV, no Sirius XM, no reason to live at all.