Harpoon successfully captures space debris
GUILDFORD, United Kingdom - The RemoveDEBRIS satellite, one of the world’s first attempts to address the build-up of dangerous space debris, has successfully used its on-board harpoon-capture system in orbit. The Airbus Stevenage designed harpoon featured a 1.5 metre boom deployed from the main RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft with a piece of satellite panel on the end. The harpoon was fired at 20 metres/sec to penetrate the target and demonstrate the ability of a harpoon to capture debris, according to the University of Surrey.
The Intelligent Aerospace take:
February 15-There is an estimated 7,600 tons of "space junk" orbiting Earth, which can imperil satellites should they collide at 30,000 miles per hour. The RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft has successfully demonstrated its ability to harpoon junk, which bodes well to ensure there is space in space for more satellites.
Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
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