Our next big problem now is space pollution. Jason Held, the CEO of the company Saber Astronautics in Sidney, developed some technology to annihilate space detritus. Space pollution is known to be one of the most terrible problems for space programs around the world. Every year, the International Space Station engages in maneuvers to prevent what it might be a terrifying collision with space debris.
Space pollution could affect functional satellites, crashing into them
Researchers estimated that there are about four thousand inactive and active satellites in cosmos. At any time, these satellites which represent investments of millions of dollars, are at risk of being damaged by half million pieces of space debris floating. The sizes of these space debris pieces vary from a few millimeters to the size of two double-decker buses.
Held argued that everyone is aware of the fact that space pollution is a problem under development because the amount of debris is continuously growing. Some may not know, but if a satellite up there is no longer functioning as it was supposed to and cannot be moved, then it can float away hitting anything in its way, becoming space debris.
Space debris will be annihilated with the new DragEN gadget
However, the new device developed by Held might help. Jason Held and his team built a technology meant to eliminate part of this space junk by dragging it back to Earth, in our atmosphere, where it will start burning. The device will work just like a yo-yo, and it was called DragEN. It weighs about a hundred grams, and astronauts can use it to attach it to satellites and spaceships.
When this gadget is activated, it unwinds from a spool hundreds of meters of string which consist of a conductive material which collects magnetic and electric forces while it travels through the magnetic field of our planet. This massive force pulls the satellite towards Earth where it will burst into flames when in contact with the atmosphere.
If satellites are left in the hands of gravity, they may need decades to enter back our atmosphere and burn. Nevertheless, Held is not sure how long it will take for such a satellite to burst into flames. The DragEn gadget will be tested by the Indian Space Research Organization on a satellite launch which was scheduled to occur later this year. At the end of the new satellite’s mission, DragEN will be used to drag it into the atmosphere and observe the consequences.
Image courtesy: wikipedia