First satellite to collect space junk set deployed from ISS

1st Satellite Built to Harpoon Space Junk for Disposal Begins Test Flight

1st Satellite Built to Harpoon Space Junk for Disposal Begins Test Flight

The first-ever satellite to test possible solutions in cleaning up space junk has been deployed by the International Space Station (ISS) and would soon begin experiments in orbit.

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.

Over the next two months, ground controllers will be switching on the RemoveDebris spacecraft's susbsystems to check if they work properly, according to Guglielmo Aglietti.

There are more than 22,000 pieces of man-made debris larger than 4 inches (10cm) now being tracked by the US Space Surveillance Network. This declaration comes forward from the desk of British Space Agency on June 22, 2018. Aglietti is the director of the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre and the principal investigator of the $18.7 million mission that is funded by the European Union. The spacecraft is expected to de-orbit in about 10 weeks.

What experiments will be conducted?

Because of drag and friction, the CubeSats will be destroyed along with the debris that has been captured.

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In December, RemoveDebris will test vision-based navigation technology developed by Airbus in Toulouse, France.

RemoveDebris will then start the last of three experiments, through arguably its most popular one, in February next year. RemoveDebris will fire a pen-size harpoon into a panel that will deploy from the main spacecraft attached to a boom.

Once the experiments are complete, it will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself and the debris out of orbit, where it will burn up as it enters the earth's atmosphere. The satellite has been created to test out the efficiency of the existing technologies in removing junk from space. For catching the space debris, the satellite is equipped with a net and a harpoon. For us, whatever happens during the mission will be a learning experience. Space will have so much debris within a decade that it would become too unsafe to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

A UK-based satellite is set to remove tons of space debris orbiting around Earth.

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