Space debris: A problem for space exploration

por | Dic 23, 2022 | Información

Today there are 6,000 satellites in orbit, less than half of which remain active, and what is worse, up to a million fragments of space junk between 1 and 10 centimeters in size.

Most of them are in low Earth orbit where they travel at high speed with the consequent risk of impacts affecting satellites and telescopes like the Hubble which in turn can multiply exponentially the fragments with each collision due to the so-called Kessler effect. To solve this problem, new cleaning technologies are being developed, such as the Clear Space One. To be launched in 2025, it will be equipped with advanced cameras to recognize objects and a detachable capture system.

Once it collects decommissioned satellites, it will decend to an orbit of 180 km, which will disintegrate the collected artifacts. Another system that has been tested is a detachable net that catches the objects and then descends to disintegrate. A group of scientists has also proposed the use of a plasma cannon, which pushes the debris into a lower orbit where it disintegrates. Finally, the new satellites could be equipped to be taken out of orbit gradually without the need for thrusters. It is time to find technological solutions to a challenge that will never come.

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Hyperion
Author: Hyperion

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