Junk is a serious problem – in space

The human race isn’t the best when it comes pollution, but it’s not just here on our planet that we have to worry about. Space debris is a huge problem that may hinder us becoming a space-faring race and even damage or disable current space infrastructure. Whoever comes up with an economical and fast solution will be the toast of the science world.

The Japanese are currently the closest with the launch of their electromagnetic net probe. Their probe will literally drag a 700-meter long net made from aluminium and steel which has sensors designed to pick up reflected light from space debris and automatically move itself to collect the debris. Once the net has reached capacity the probe will lower its orbit until it, the net and the space debris fall out of orbit and burn up in our atmosphere.

But it’s not just the Japanese the following are other nations/organisations that are working on the issue;

A team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is building a robot, CleanSpaceOne, to sweep up junk. It will deploy grippers inspired by jellyfish to embrace the target before steering itself on a suicide dive into Earth’s atmosphere. European aerospace company EADS Astrium wants to give satellites in-built sails to act as an “orbital brake”, dragging them into Earth’s atmosphere.

Boeing wants to send up a rocket that could dispel the debris with blasts of inert gas. Others want to use lasers to clear the way.

So get thinking people as this is a huge issue that affects us all.

Stay Curious – C.Costigan

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