Over recent years, many scientists have been designing new and expensive technologies with the aim to save the earth, or reduce the effects from global warming. One of these ideas lies in a concept of giant solar shades.
Much like ordinary sunglasses you place over your eyes in bright sunshine, the solar shades in question block out some of the suns harmful rays, only with one major difference. These shades will rest a million miles above our heads.
The logic behind this invention is to provide the global population with one giant sunshade consisting of 16 trillion outer space solar shades. These solar shades are super thin and lightweight glass discs which act like a lens on your average sunglasses to divert the suns rays.
Dr. Roger Angel (the brains behind the glass optics) is one of the worlds most recognized experts in the field of glass optics. He is responsible for designing the mirrors on telescopes, and believes glass could answer the solving global warming.
It is predicted that only 2% of the suns rays need to be diverted in order to save the planet from increased global warming. The solar shades will have to cover a distance of 100,000km in width. The proposed area for the solar shades to orbit at is known as the "L1 point". This is the point of zero gravity between the sun and the earth.
The solar optics will have tiny solar panels attached which can act as rudders to provide a gliding ability for the optics to change direction if needed.
A huge problem associated with this invention will be the process of transporting these solar optics into space. Dr. Angel has calculated the total weight of the tiny sunshades to be around 20 million tonnes. Presuming if this method is chosen to save the world, and the space shuttle is still the best space exploration vehicle, it will take 870,000 trips into space to deliver the entire solar shade as the space shuttles cargo weight can be only 23 tonnes a go.
There are currently four other extraordinary ideas in play, competing against this one to be the savior of our home on earth, it will be interesting to see if any of these will ever make it to the production stage.
We need to look after our environment, and the use of natural energy (such as solar electricity) should be our first focus, along with any reduction of our fossil fuel intake and carbon emissions.