Switzerland to Launch ’Janitor’ Satellite to Collect Pieces of Space Junk
2013-10-03 0:00

By Timon Singh | Inhabitat

Space junk is an ongoing problem for the world’s space administrations as decades worth of satellite launches and space missions have filled the Earth’s orbit with trash such as fuel tanks, lost tools and parts of derelict satellites.

In order to combat this growing hazard and to avoid potentially devastating collisions, the Swiss Space Center at EPFL has launched CleanSpace One, a project to develop and build the first installment of satellites designed specifically to clean up space debris.


Of the thousands of pieces of space junk in orbit, NASA is monitoring at least 16,000 of these objects that are larger than 10 cm in diameter. This is because if they collide with spacecraft or satellites at high speed, massive damage can occur. Not just that, but more junk is created. Enter CleanSpace One.

“It has become essential to be aware of the existence of this debris and the risks that are run by its proliferation,” says Claude Nicollier, astronaut and EPFL professor. CleanSpace One is the Swiss Space Center’s first prototype in a family of “de-orbiting” satellites. For its first mission, the spacecraft will be tasked with targeting either Switzerland’s first orbiting object, the Swisscube picosatellite which was put in orbit in 2009, or its cousin TIsat, launched in July 2010.

However, it won’t be a simple task. Once in orbit, CleanSpace One will have to adjust its trajectory in order to match its target’s orbital plane. This is not an easy job and the EPFL are curently working on a new kind of ultra-compact motor to do this. Once it is within range of its target (which will be traveling at 28,000 km/h at an altitude of 630-750 km), CleanSpace One will have to grab and stabilize it using a special gripping mechanism. Once this is done, CleanSpace One will “de-orbit” the unwanted satellite by heading back into the Earth’s atmosphere, where the two satellites will burn upon re-entry.

[...]

Read the full article at: inhabitat.com




Related Articles
Space Junk Debris Harpooning Talks Underway At Euro Space Agency
How Huffing and Puffing Could Remove Space Junk


Latest News from our Front Page

ABC Is Hiding Details of Killer Vester Flanagan's Manifesto ...(Must Be Littered With Liberal Propaganda)
2015-08-29 3:45
Killer Vester Flanagan was a big Obama supporter. But, you’d never know it from the liberal media. The media is hiding Flanagan’s political leanings from the American public. ABC has yet to release Flanagan’s manifesto. It must be littered with embarrassing liberal propaganda. The Tatler reported, via Instapundit: Two days ago, ABC News reported that Vester Flanagan, the murderer of two WDBJ employees, sent a 23-page ...
Austria, Libya count dead as number of migrants crossing Mediterranean soars
2015-08-29 1:37
Austria said on Friday 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 82 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe and scores more were feared dead. The U.N. refugee agency said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe ...
Financial Times Calls For Abolishing Cash
2015-08-29 1:07
liminating physical currency necessary to give central banks more power The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power. Entitled The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’, the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which ...
Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration
2015-08-29 1:52
Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal immigrants into the country, will not be allowed to voice their concerns in a protest march on Monday, 31st of August. “We will not allow the expression of intolerance and hatred to be something that is characteristic of Serbia” said Stefanovic. “The Ministry ...
Germany asks Facebook to remove 'racist' anti-migrant posts
2015-08-28 20:32
Heiko Maas, Germany's justice minister, says social network should remove xenophobic posts in the same way it deals with nudity Germany is calling on Facebook to remove “xenophobic and racist” anti-migrant posts from its website and apps. Heiko Maas, the German justice minister, has written to the company to demand an urgent review of its policy over hate messages. “Photos of certain ...
More News »