The next step for RemoveDEBRIS will be to test navigation systems and special scanners to detect space junk.
The space landfill: Earth's orbit is full of space junk. "We repeat, not sci-fi", tweeted the Texas-based company NanoRacks, which developed the space station's microsatellite deployer.
The 220lb spacecraft, equipped with a net and harpoon, was designed and built by a consortium led by the University of Surrey and funded by the European Commission. The spacecraft is operated in orbit by engineers at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK.
A Stevenage-built satellite that can clean up space junk from Earth's orbit has successfully fired a net into space. The procedure is still in its experimental phase; logistical kinks are expected to be imminently ironed out. This is the world's first ever demonstration of active debris removal technology.
He said: "While it might sound like a simple idea, the complexity of using a net in space to capture a piece of debris took many years of planning, engineering and co-ordination". Aglietti assured onlookers, "It worked just as we hoped it would", explaining "t$3 he target was spinning like you would expect an uncooperative piece of junk to behave, but you can see clearly that the net captures it, and we're very happy with the way the experiment went".
The RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft captured a probe in a demonstration of space debris cleanup.
"Our small team of engineers and technicians have done an unbelievable job moving us one step closer to clearing up low Earth orbit". ADR stands for Active Debris Removal. "We have tested the net and the harpoon to death, but you can't get the real environment on the ground".
The US Space Surveillance Network tracks approximately forty-thousand objects. It has been tracking objects for over sixty years. There are estimated to be more than 7,600 tonnes of space junk in orbit, with the potential to jeopardise current and future satellites and space missions.
- Surrey Space Centre (UK) - Mission and consortium coordination.
The spacecraft also features a "Vision Based Navigation" system to develop rendezvous techniques in orbit with debris.
- Innovative Solutions in Space (Netherlands) - CubeSat dispensers. Please credit University of Surrey. It aims to be at the forefront of capture technologies in space.
- Surrey Space Centre (UK) - Dragsail.
This video, from the Surrey Space Centre, talks about the RemoveDEBRIS mission.
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