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An inexpensive and efficient technology to remove space debris orbiting Earth has been garnering interest from NASA scientists. A design proposed for space trash collecting system is being funded by NASA. Earlier a similar concept was approved by NASA which didn’t succeed in its trial phase. Apart from removing debris from Earth’s orbit, this new technology can provide a way into the development of miniature and efficient cost effective technologies on Earth.
With the frequency of space travel and satellites being launched rising, space debris has become a major issue. This floating debris can harm an aircraft or satellite on its way to space or return back, thus creating unwanted complications. It has been estimated that more than 520,000 bits of detectable human made space junk are cluttering up slowly near the Earth’s orbit. This flat, quadrilateral carpet, which kind of looks like the magic carpet from Aladdin’s story, is thinner than the thickness of a human hair with a length of 3 feet. The propellants, fuel and solar power cells have all been designed to fit into a compact space of just one square foot.
The space craft functions by wrapping itself around the debris and then dragging the debris back to the Earth’s atmosphere. Upon impact, the debris would burn up due to the friction and intense heat. The craft has been designed in such a way that if one unit of the craft malfunctions, others would keep on working with the same efficiency. In spite of its thin structure, the tech has been crafted with high-quality materials so that tiny particles shooting through space with extremely high velocities of up to 17,500 mph would not harm the spacecraft.More than 20,000 pieces of space debris found in Earth’s orbit are just under four inches and move at such a fast speed that they can damage the satellites and spacecraft, making it a potential risk for astronauts.
The company asserts a claim that almost every detectable piece of trash can be eliminated from orbit within a decade if enough Brane crafts are deployed.
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