From bulky satellite corpses to tiny metal splinters, the Earth is surrounded by a cloud of space debris. But now there are plans for a groundbreaking clean-up.
One of the characteristics of communications and other satellites that help modern civilization function is that they require fuel to maneuver and stay on station as needed. Once they run out of fuel the satellites become space junk that becomes a hazard to navigation and need replacing at great expense.
What Restore-7 technology can also do
NASA envisions Restore-7 technology for a number of other missions. Its robotic arms can be used to assemble structures in space, everything from huge dish arrays to commercial space stations. The technology can also be used to handle space junk, either nudging it into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up or sending it to a recycling center in orbit to be torn down and used to build other products. The era of throwaway spacecraft will, in short order, be coming to an end.
Since October 1957, with the Soviet success of Sputnik 1, the world’s space faring nations have exponentially increased the injection of artificial materials into space. This includes everything from healthy satellites to spent rocket stages, dead spacecraft and scads of smaller space debris resulting from routine operations and collisions both accidental and intentional. –