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RemoveDebris Set to Demonstrate Technology to Tackle Space Junk

By | June 22, 2018
RemoveDEBRIS. Image credit: NASA

RemoveDEBRIS. Image credit: NASA

A spacecraft that will demonstrate a range of innovative technologies to clean up space debris has been deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) and will soon begin its experiments in orbit. RemoveDebris, will attempt to address the build-up of dangerous space debris orbiting Earth.

It was transported to the ISS via the SpaceX CRS-14 launch in early April. The satellite was designed, built and manufactured by a consortium of space companies and research institutions, led by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey. The project is co-funded by the European Commission.

The RemoveDebris mission will perform four experiments, including harpoon capture in orbit and a net that will be used on a deployed target. The team will also test a vision-based navigation system that uses cameras and Light Detection and Radar (LIDAR) technology to observe CubeSats that will be released from the main spacecraft. Finally, RemoveDebris will deploy a large sail that will drag it into the Earth’s atmosphere, where it will be destroyed.