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Sailing satellites into safe retirement

gossamer deorbit sail solar sails esa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Sailing satellites into safe retirement


www.esa.int said:

20 December 2013 When satellites reach the end of their working lives, they may pose a threat to other spacecraft as they continue to orbit in a dormant state for many decades. But now a new way to deorbit ageing satellites in a safe manner is nearing its first test in space.

In the future, satellites might carry a packaged ultra-lightweight ‘gossamer sail’ to open as they head towards retirement.    

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#2    OverSword

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 08:31 PM

That's a really good idea.


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:44 AM

View PostOverSword, on 20 December 2013 - 08:31 PM, said:

That's a really good idea.

It's not only ESA that are looking at this. There is a CubeSat experiment into de-orbiting satellites by solar sail which is being sponsored by NASA,

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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