Removal of Space debris

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  • Member since
    July, 2013
Removal of Space debris
Posted by Harvey Marshall on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 3:28 PM

In our lifetime will we see a serious attempt for the removal, or destruction of space debris?

  Will some company develop a robotic space tug, or device that can travel around in different orbits and trap, snag, entangle or otherwise capture the debris and either transfer it to a gathering area or send it into a higher or lower orbit  so it either escapes into space or gets sent into the upper atmosphere to burn up?

  Trying to blast the debris is not a very good solution, as more smaller chunks of debris is still very dangerous.  If such a space vehicle can be developed, it could be stationed at the ISS or some other space station of the future, then whatever the type of fuel it used could be sent to the space station to keep it in operation. Much cheaper than having to launch from earth every time.

  It is more likely that many Space tourists will have flown with Virgins Spaceship before anything is done for this problem.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Eastern SD.
Posted by johnjohnson on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 4:38 PM

Space debris as tourist "souvenirs". A way to clean up our back yard and make a profit! I sense a business opportunity here.

JJ

20" F5 Obsession, OMI mirror .987 Strehl. 10" F4.7 reflector. 6" F5 ST reflector. 120mm F7.5 EON. 80mm F11.3 guide scope. SkyWatcher EQ-6 Hyper Tuned.   Flicker Astro Site   More Astro Images

  • Member since
    August, 2010
Posted by PeakOilBill on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 9:33 PM
How about nuclear powered laser satellites to hit the space junk and vaporize enough material to propel them into a reentry trajectory. Of, course, it might be a bit dangerous. A reusable rocket might enable some kind of capture satellites to collect the most dangerous pieces for reentry? I won't hold my breath for anything to get done.

None.

  • Member since
    November, 2012
Posted by MooseMan01 on Thursday, January 02, 2014 4:09 PM

PeakOilBill
How about nuclear powered laser satellites to hit the space junk and vaporize enough material to propel them into a reentry trajectory. Of, course, it might be a bit dangerous. A reusable rocket might enable some kind of capture satellites to collect the most dangerous pieces for reentry? I won't hold my breath for anything to get done.
 

How about a very big Swiffer!

One problem is the stuff is flying around at thousands of miles per hour. Even a small piece can be like a bullet.

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by leo731 on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 4:30 PM

It will be very hard to clean up.  A swiffer type approach would be highly dangerous to the cleaning vehicle if it cannot match the orbital velocity of each particle it tries to catch.  If we use a laser of some sort even the resulting micron sized particles would remain a significant danger as they would be too small to track.  I think the best approach is to henceforth limit the amount of junk we produce.  Anything that goes up should have enough fuel to allow deorbit into a controlled reentry.  Otherwise we may find ourselves surrounded by a halo of junk as was supposed in the movie Wall-E. 

Of course the idea of a space swiffer or flying dustbin remains an interesting, if not rather dangerous, possibility:

L

A nebula in the eyepiece is worth two in the Atlas.

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by Anjo de Zeus on Saturday, January 18, 2014 1:14 PM

maybe if cataloged most of the space junk and we send missiles

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