UK engineers are developing a system to harpoon rogue or redundant satellites and pull them out of the sky.
It is a response to the ever growing problem of orbital junk - old pieces of hardware that continue to circle the Earth and which now pose a collision threat to operational spacecraft.
The harpoon would be fired at the hapless satellite from close range.
A propulsion pack tethered to the projectile would then pull the junk downwards, to burn up in the atmosphere.
"Space has become a critical part of our infrastructure - from weather forecasting and Earth observation, to GPS and telecommunications," said the harpoon’s designer, Dr Jaime Reed, from Astrium UK.
"Space junk poses a real threat to these vital services if we do nothing about it, and so it’s very important we develop capture technologies to remove some of this material. Studies have shown that taking out just a few large items each year can help us get on top of the problem."
Dr Reed’s proposal is for a barbed spear about 30cm in length. It would be mounted on a "chaser satellite" that would edge to within 100m of a junk object.
Pictures sent to the ground would then be used to assess the target, before the chaser was moved to within perhaps 20m to take a shot.
Once the harpoon is hooked through the skin of the rogue satellite or rocket stage, the chaser could either pull on a trailing polymer cord itself or deploy a separate thruster unit to do the job of dragging the aimless drifter towards Earth.
This is research in its very early stages. The BBC has filmed firing tests of a prototype harpoon at Astrium UK’s Stevenage base.
Nuclear experts suggest Fukushima consider ‘controlled discharge’ of toxic water into ocean 2013 12 04 Nuke News: An IAEA Director’s rationale in dumping radioactive water into the ocean? - Everybody else is doing it!
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Gender-Bending BPA Causes Migraines, Cancer & Infertility 2013 12 04 Researchers at the University of Kansas (UoK) have released a new study regarding bisphenol A (BPA) shows a link between migraines and the chemical.
This report found that BPA causes debilitating headaches in 1 out of 7 persons who ingest the contaminant.
Those who react to BPA with migraines are advised to avoid microwave trays, plastic bottles, canned goods and water coolers.
Is Humanity Declaring Checkmate On The New World Order? 2013 12 04
What is the line between confidence and acknowledgement of victory? Early celebration versus clear vision of how nature will handle a conflict within itself? Is victory and hope truly all imaginary or is there something more to it?
As humanity exponentially wakes up to the plans of the global elite (those in power, the ruling class, the “Illuminati” or whatever you ...
Getting Your News From Hollywood 2013 12 04
Imagine a documentary film about the Holocaust which makes no mention of Nazi Germany.
Imagine a documentary film about the 1965-66 slaughter of as many as a million “communists” in Indonesia which makes no mention of the key role in the killing played by the United States.
But there’s no need to imagine it. It’s been made, and was released this past ...