ISS Deploys First Space Debris Removal Tool

24 June, 2018, 15:57 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Watch out for the ISS as it passes over the Coast tonight

Called RemoveDebris, this piece of technology is supposed to act as a tool to clear the debris from Earth's lower orbit. The deployment of RemoveDebris marks the launch of the largest payload deployed ever from the space station.

Sir Martin Sweeting, Chief Executive of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, commented: "SSTL's expertise in designing and building low cost, small satellite missions has been fundamental to the success of RemoveDEBRIS, a landmark technology demonstrator for Active Debris Removal missions that will begin a new era of space junk clearance in Earth's orbit."Why the experiment is important The world is now tracking about 18,000 objects orbiting the Earth, but only 1,100 are functioning spacecraft". About two hours later, University of Surrey engineers confirmed they had contacted the spacecraft. The RemoveDebris mission led by the Surrey Space Center is created to test a range of innovative techniques to solve this ever-growing problem.

"The mission timelines will see the net deployed in October this year, followed by the VBN test in late December and then the harpoon in February 2019".

The RemoveDEBRIS team believes that if we don't get rid of space junk now, it could cause major problems in the future.

"We expect to start with the experiments at some point in September". "We will need three to four weeks for each experiment".

European aerospace giant Airbus designed and built three of the four planned experiments aboard the spacecraft.


The Britain-built satellite testing possible solutions to clean up space junk is soon to begin experiments in orbit, the UK Space Agency said.

After 5 years since the beginning of the development of technologies to test these interesting systems in this field.

Finally, at some point in March 2019, the RemoveDebris spacecraft will deploy a drag sail, developed by the Surrey Space Centre, which will speed up the satellite's deorbiting process. CubeSats will be launched from the primary satellite and "watched" through Light Detection & Ranging system and cameras. Using drag sails more widely, Aglietti said, would reduce the amount of time defunct satellites stay in orbit, thus reducing the risk that they'll collide with other spacecraft.

Active space debris-removal technologies, such as harpoons and nets, are becoming increasingly important as well. For the third, it will attempt to grab a decoy piece of space junk with a harpoon. Eastern Time. Using robotic arm, lovingly-named Canadarm2 by its Canadian creators, among other tools at its disposal, the craft is meant to harvest space debris, or space junk, as it's sometimes called.

Aglietti, however, said he hopes that if the RemoveDebris experiments are successful, other players will take the technologies to the next level.

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