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Space is about to get a refuse collection.


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I saw something on the tv the other day that said a "satellite/craft" is being developed that will be sent into space and will start cleaning up some of the rubbish that is in Earth's orbit. The inventors/makers (cant think who is doing it) said that its primary mission will be to remove about 500,000 pieces of space junk.

Anyone hear about this and know more?

Nice idea but i cant see it happening really due to cost. It would have to be able to be used time and time again and it does sound a bit SCI-FI at the moment.

Sorry Mods. I have no links top back this up, so if you want to move it to the Lounge thats ok. But its quite a serious post, honestly.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I heard something in passing....( thought it was on here)... Think it’s the Swiss planning a mission to clean up orbiting debris... So many millions lost each year is satellites because of collisions.. so yes It has been mentioned :)

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I think one of the bigger questions is what is going to happen to the collected junk, if its de-orbited back into our atmosphere where will we have it land?

We will be collecting multiple peices of junk at a time, if so how will we make sure they all land where we plan?

What will happen to any materials that survive re-entry? Some of these things have 'nuclear' materials onboard. Who will own them? The nation that sent it up or the nation responsible for the area they land in?

Who will take responsibility for any mistakes? Perhaps an unexpected breakup of the junk during re-entry causing it to be spread out over a larger than intended area? What if any junk from such a break up hit a ship or landed over ground on perhaps a house?

While yes some of those things are small threats, and perhaps its over worrying a little too much but they are questions we need to think about, no?

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This is the one that rang a bell with me. An idea to attach propellants to large debris to drive it into a re-entry bonfire - BBC News - Space junk could be tackled by housekeeping spacecraft

Thats the one.

So the idea is to disable the space junk and send it into an degrading orbit where it crashes and burns up in the atmosphere?

Still sounds like fantasy to me.

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