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Soccer-ball robots to patrol for space junk

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New self-guided robots could soon be used to help assess the threat posed by items of space debris.

Spent rocket stages, defunct satellites and thousands of other fragments of junk represent a constant threat to the crew of the International Space Station with orbital changes required on a regular basis to avoid potentially catastrophic collisions.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...-for-space-junk

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Sundew

Instead of space soccer balls, we need space billiards, to knock the pieces of debris out of orbit or into deep space.

BTW when these things fail we will have more space junk.

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Waspie_Dwarf

Instead of space soccer balls, we need space billiards, to knock the pieces of debris out of orbit or into deep space.

That really is a very bad idea. At orbital speed it wont knock debris out of orbit it will smash both the debris and the "billiard ball" into small pieces and make the situation worse.

or into deep space.

If the first part was a bad idea then this is a truly awful one. Orbital speed is around 17,000 mph, escape velocity (the speed need to escape from Earth and enter deep space) is around 25,000 mph. You would have to hit your piece of debris with enough force to instantaneously accelerate it by about 8,000 mph, what piece of space debris is going to survive an impact like that?

BTW when these things fail we will have more space junk.

And your point is?

Even if each one of these objects removes only 2 pieces of space junk it will still have reduced the problem by 50%, unlike your suggestion which will increase the problem by many orders of magnitude.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.

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