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Waspie_Dwarf

Sailing satellites into safe retirement

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Sailing satellites into safe retirement

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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That's a really good idea.

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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,

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