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ESA to launch space debris collector in 2025

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Seti42

About time. We should have been doing this since the 80's. The USA and Russia should pay for most of it, too. Not like the US and Russia pay their bills or clean up their messes, though...

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Waspie_Dwarf
9 minutes ago, Seti42 said:

The USA and Russia should pay for most of it, too.

And, increasingly, China.

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Cam Gibb

With so many junk items in earth orbit, the cost of sending 1 robot to grab 1 and bring it down at specific point and time to likely land safely in Pacific, does not seem practical as to cost. I imagined decades ago that they'd of been testing economical reliable safe ways to force the many objects either farther out towards sun, letting sun gravity slowly draw them in to sun, or force em down to earth. But so many objects means likely some will cause land buildings damage human casualties. So a means to force them out to sun seems most practical. Just need to experiment on what could repeatedly give this force and be able to maintain movement and orbit control. The robot armed device would need long lasting power source. Maybe hands on robot with strong electro magnets. Attach, when on sun side of earth use propeelent to push toward sun then let go, use propellent to stop and return to orbit. Large solar collectors for keeping long life rechargeable batteries strong. But until we experiment with and find position control methods beyond expelling compressed air and burning rocket fuel, which has limited use due to tanks sizes, it would need to be quite sizable, possibly manned, refueled with fuel and gas like the space station.  Almost seems like a job for the space shuttle design as it could carry extra fuel and compressed air, do this grabbing, pushing, letting go, user reverse thrusters to stop moving toward sun. Any item possibly wanted back on earth could be stored in cargo bay. But they'll need more reliable heat shield panels with extra insulation under them in case some come off. What about a strong laser ?? Might that have a pushing force ? or when the item it heats up starts burning, might that combustion force push it away toward sun ? Howabout the electromagnetic particle rail gun ? Or something like it directing a small explosive bullet at object, which on hitting and exploding will push it toward sun ?  As I said earlier, I thought by now they would have experimented to see how much force would do to send an object on our sun side of orbit toward sun and have it dominated by sun gravity instead of earth gravity. 

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Jon the frog

They need to put a ''de-orbit able'' rule on all new satellites. Laser in high orbit system could push down some stuff all year long with a good solar panel array. Heating up a side.

They are working on it: https://www.science.org.au/curious/space-time/shoving-space-junk-out-way-lasers

 

Edited by Jon the frog

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