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The Space Station, and any satellite, is vulnerable to impacts from orbital debris. Even a one centimeter particle is nearly unstoppable at orbital speeds. One solution that can work for such a large satellite as the Space Station is to arm it with lasers, not to obliterate the incoming particles, but to hit them with glancing blows knocking them into a slightly different orbit. The capability is becoming viable with advances in miniaturization and improvements in laser generation made possible from weapons design. There may be some debate about weapons in space, but self-defenses may be acceptable – and necessary until we’ve cleaned up our orbital debris. Otherwise, we risk losing the Station, and adding to the possibility of a debris cloud that ruins our existing satellite network.

“Proposal Would Put Laser Cannon On ISS To Blast Space Junk” – IEEE Spectrum

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