MOSCOW, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Russian scientists are developing a new space laser cannon that could shoot down potentially harmful space debris, according to local media reports.
The powerful "laser cannon" will be based on a three-meter optical telescope, which was first designed to monitor space for satellites and space junk, according to Russian TV network RT.
The space trash destroyer will rid the space debris by piercing each junk with its laser beam until the object evaporates by the energy heat.
The new technology is currently under development by researchers at Scientific and Industrial Corporation "Precision Instrument Systems," a subsidiary of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
NASA estimated in 2013 that there were more that 500,000 pieces of space junk "the size of a marble or larger" orbiting around the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 meters per hour, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.
The rising number of space debris increased the potential danger to all space vehicles, especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and other spacecraft with humans aboard.