For my money, the space object with the coolest name of all is the Whipple Bumper. It protects the International Space Station against squeezing the Charmin, and against damage from space debris.
To a point, that is - the Whipple Bumper is formidable in confronting smaller bits of space stuff, but against larger items, like used rocket stages, our strategy is less "Super Size Whipple Bumper" and more "hopefully we won't hit anything" So Japan's space agency is looking to start a cleanup effort by building giant space garbage nets. The nets will gather up some of the atmospheric detritus and then, through magentic fields, send it close enough to Earth to burn up. Problem solved, and we can go back to saving ourselves from HAL 9000, or whatever. [The Telegraph]
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