Skyrora’s Space Tug for Debris Removal Can Make Space Sustainable18th Feb 2021
Scottish company Skyrora has conducted successful space tug tests and is getting ready for a space clean-up mission. The company believes that its Orbit Transfer Vehicle, a part of the Skyrora XL rocket, can reposition spacecraft and remove defunct sats, thus cleaning up space debris. So, there is now hope for the space junk issue, which is gradually becoming a bigger problem.
Skyrora’s Space Debris Solution
Skyrora’s announcement came after the signing of a directive between the UK Science Minister and the UN. The directive aims to find new approaches to make space sustainable. Besides, it authorizes any entities with the power to act against those responsible for space junk creation. The main goal of this document is to ensure sustainable and indefinite use of space resources in the future, and the removal of space debris is part of this process.
Industry experts unanimously agree that space debris is becoming a problem humanity cannot ignore. Today, over 34 thousand objects larger than 10 cm in diameter are circling earth and approximately three thousand of those are defunct and should be removed as soon as possible.
The main problem with defunct spacecraft is that it continues to move with 10 km/sec speed, so they pose a danger to currently operational spacecrafts, which include not only the satellites but also vehicles and even the International Space Station.
Skyrora’s clean-up mission relies on using a space tug of its own design. It is a part of the company’s reignitable engine and looks like it will be capable of solving the problem. Skyrora has already completed a series of successful tests for the upper stage of its orbital vehicle. All tests were conducted at the company’s facility in Fife.
Volodymyr Levykin, the company CEO, is very clear about his goals. The main purpose of the company is to remain mission-ready at all times. Levykin adds that the latest directive creates favorable conditions for Skyrora and its team because it finally puts all necessary regulations in place.
Levykin is certain that humanity is facing challenging times today. He believes it is the company’s goal to show that the UK nation can innovate and lead by example. He adds that the team is preparing for launches from the UK and emphasizes that these launches will be as environmentally friendly as possible. Besides, Skyrora aims at highly effective launches that would achieve more significant results than multiple launches of the past.
To date, Skyrora already has an established reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the UK. For example, it derives its fuel from plastic waste. Last year, Skyrora completed a series of tests for liquid-fuel Ecosense and a rocket engine of its own design to support this green fuel technology.
Levykin states that Skyrora can now sustain its operations in orbit while removing the space debris. He adds that their team is committed to achieving its own tasks and strives to remain responsible in this process. That’s what Skyrora’s clean-up mission is truly about.