Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Science | By

Satellite uses space junk clear-up technology for first time

Satellite uses space junk clear-up technology for first time

The procedure is still in its experimental phase; logistical kinks are expected to be imminently ironed out.

"We are absolutely thrilled... the Target was rotated, which was unexpected", said Guglielmo Aletti (Guglielmo Aglietti), scientific Director of the experiment RemoveDebris. The University of Surrey elucidates, explaining that the craft aims to perform "key Active Debris Removal (ADR) technology demonstrations", such as capture and "deorbiting".

Then from a distance of seven meters, the satellite network has released a width of five meters to capture this object, simulate space debris.

"Our small team of engineers and technicians have done an awesome job moving us one step closer to clearing up low Earth orbit". The net in this image captures space junk.

In the coming months the satellite will test more technology, including a vision-based navigation system that uses cameras and lidar to analyse potential pieces of debris, the harpoon, and a "drag sail" to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up to complete the mission.

The "RemoveDebris" mission will also try to use a harpoon to remove rubbish, in tests scheduled for February. Harpoon testing is due take place in late January.

When RemoveDEBRIS hits Earth's atmosphere, it will be destroyed, and the mission effectively will come to a close. It has been tracking objects for over sixty years.


The success of the test paves the way for routine missions to clean-up the thousands of redundant satellites now in orbit. Some pieces of space debris are approaching speeds of 30,000 miles per hour (48,280 km/h).

- SSTL (UK) - Platform, avionics and spacecraft operations.

The spacecraft also features a "Vision Based Navigation" system to develop rendezvous techniques in orbit with debris.

- Surrey Space Centre (UK)/ Stellenbosch University (South Africa) - Target CubeSats.

A consortium is an alliance of organizations, companies, individuals, and other entities that get together to achieve a common objective.

British scientists have developed a special companion, he is cleaning up space debris has become a serious threat to space technology.

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