Active Debris Removal Underway After Recent Astroscale Launch

19th May 2021
Active Debris Removal Underway After Recent Astroscale Launch

Each year the amount of space debris grows as more launches take place. It’s now critical to address the issue, and several significant players in this area stress the urgency of space debris removal.

Nowadays, people are dependent on space technology for numerous reasons, including checking climate change. That means more launches in the future which is why Astroscale is spearheading the space debris cleanup.

Today, the low orbit area is full of metal junk due to numerous launches in previous years. The metal orbits the earth at neck-breaking speed, and Low Earth Orbit requires urgent space debris removal if further progress in this field is expected.

At times the metal junk is on one another’s path causing a collision. An example is the Kosmos-2251 Russian satellite that collided with Iridium 33 in 2009. The result was thousands of metal pieces that pose a considerable threat.

Astroscale Space Debris Removal Mission – a Step in the Right Direction

There’s now an obvious need in the space industry for effective cleanup; hence the remove debris mission held by Astroscale is crucial. The ELSA-d (End-of-Life Services by Astroscale demonstration) launch that’ll conduct Active Space Debris Removal Mission took place in March 2021.

The craft intends to use docking plates with magnets to capture a satellite in a few months. ELSA-d contains a client and servicer, which will demonstrate non-tumbling docking. At the start, the server and client come apart. Afterward, they meet up and attach in a beeline, then separate once more in the second phase.

The third phase involves the client discovery demonstration by Astroscale for active debris removal. Here, the client detaches from the servicer. Next, the servicer does a maneuver to reclaim it after losing it intentionally.

Once everything goes according to plan, both items de-orbit and burn in the earth’s atmosphere. That will be the first little step in a long road of space debris removal.

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