RemoveDEBRIS deploys from the ISS

26 Juin, 2018, 08:35 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • RemoveDEBRIS deploys from the ISS

International Space Station (ISS) has deployed a satellite for testing solutions in clearing up space garbage.

In its first test since arriving at the ISS, RemoveDEBRIS was just released from the station via the robotic arm Canadarm2, and researchers at the University of Surrey in England confirmed shortly after that they'd established contact with the satellite. The spacecraft drifted away from the orbital outpost at about 11:30 p.m. BST (7:30am EDT) on Wednesday, June 20. Guglielmo Aglietti is a professor at the University of Surrey.

The RemoveDEBRIS team believes that if we don't get rid of space junk now, it could cause major problems in the future. There are many proposals put forward by several space agencies and private companies, and some of them are not very realistic and even outlandish, also, most of these plans are still in their idea phase. 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 spacecraft is expected to de-orbit in about 10 weeks.

This experiment is seen as an important development because there are thousands of pieces of space debris which are circulating the planet and thus polluting it. The designer of three of the four mission technologies Airbus said in a statement. Because of drag and friction, the CubeSats will be destroyed along with the debris that has been captured.

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Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey and Principal Investigator for the mission, said: "After nearly five years of development, it is exciting to finally be in a position where we can test these extremely exciting technologies in the field". RemoveDebris will fire a pen-size harpoon into a panel that will deploy from the main spacecraft attached to a boom.

Once the mission is accomplished, the spacecraft will burn up along with the debris as soon as it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

"The sail produces a significant amount of drag so that the spacecraft slows down and its orbit decays much faster than it would without the sail", said Aglietti.

Under the project, the device will conduct its first test clean-up mission with the debris-catching net in October, before deploying the VBN system in December.


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