Friday, March 27, 2015

Blog #6: Cleaning up Space with Giant Fishing Nets

Cleaning up Space with Giant Fishing Nets

Space is full of debris ranging in size from flecks of dust to large, satellite sized pieces, all of which pose serious threats to the satellites and space stations that we currently have up in orbit. The idea to come up with a method to bring down this debris has been floating around for a while now and many different nations have gotten to work on it but the European Space Agency has come up with an idea.

The ESA's idea is to launch large nets to catch the derelict materials and bring them out of orbit to render them harmless to the humans living in space now. This is a take on an idea that the Japanese had recently last year where they shot magnetic nets at debris in attempts to remove it from space.

As of right now, according to NASA there is about 500,000 pieces of space junk larger than a marble circling the planet, some going around 17,500 mph which, if it hits, could pose serious alarm and potential danger to the crew on the International Space Station.

This is just one of the many ideas that the ESA has put forth for their Clean Space Initiative which aims to reduce the impact of the space industry on the Earth and the orbital environment around it.

Ryan Campbell
March 27, 2014

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