Space ‘bin lorry’ to pick up litter in Earth orbit
A BRITISH-LED mission demonstrating how to salvage potentially dangerous junk orbiting the Earth is set for launch less than a day after a Chinese space station broke up over the Pacific.
The REMOVEDEBRIS satellite, to be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), will carry a net for capturing space litter and a harpoon to haul in larger objects.
A Space X Falcon 9 rocket is waiting to deliver the box-like craft to the ISS from the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The fiery demise of the Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 was a timely reminder of the growing hazard of space junk.
Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre, said: “It is important to remember that a few significant collisions have already happened. The issue of the d reduction of the space debris has to be addressed.”