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Let's Clean Up Space Junk!

According to the MIT Technology Review, the first-ever mission to get a dead rocket out of space has begun!

 

The outer space, especially the orbit, is full of human-made garbage. The amount is overstepping the 9,000 metric tons milestone.

We estimate that there are around 500,000 pieces of space junk sized approximately 1 centimetre and around 23,000 objects larger than 10 centimetres.

The most extensive pieces were left by Russia, weighing up to 9 tons (the weight of a small military tank).


Those objects in the orbit can be detrimental. When a collision occurs, they can create a deadly could of up to 10,000- 20,000 fragments. This may lead to a runaway chain reaction of collisions – the Kessler syndrome. That would make orbits unsafe and thus unusable for decades or centuries until the debris falls back into the atmosphere.


The Rocket Lab Electron launched a rocket from New Zealand on February 18. The satellite is targeting the upper stage of a Japanese rocket launched in 2009 with a size comparable to a school bus and a weight of 3 metric tons that orbits our planet at an altitude of 600 kilometres.

ADRAS-J mission is the first attempt to approach and examine the debris through Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO).

‘’ADRAS-J will demonstrate Astroscale's RPO by locating, approaching, orbiting around, and gathering data on an upper-stage rocket body currently in low Earth orbit.’’

The ADRAS-J satellite will rendezvous with the debris, obtain images and deliver data to understand and prepare the collecting mission.




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