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Space, a plan to turn space waste into fuel

garbage, a problem on the planet and around it. Based on space debris Back to talking after last week Russia to make missile test The smashing of an old satellite of his (Kosmos 1408). In short, other debris that exacerbates more than Danger For the International Space Station (ISS) and for communications and future space missions. We are taking risks, experts warn,Kessler effectThis is the scenario in which you present one collision Others are created cascade which gradually increases the number of debris Saturation of the lower Earth’s orbit.

However, scientists around the world have long worked to devise ways to solve the problem of space debris. The idea, which may still be a bit futuristic, is an idea recycle to convert them to solid fuel for the spacecraft. From Australia to the United States via JapanMany companies accepted the challenge, thanks to funding from NASA, is developing technologies to create what we can define.”service stationsuborbital.

high speed waste

Since the launch of the first satellite (Sputnik) into low Earth orbit in 1957, it has gradually accumulated Debris of all kinds: Abandoned or malfunctioning satellites, large or few parts of spacecraft, even frozen fuel droplets. Millions of debris, hundreds of thousands (possibly 300 thousand) larger than one centimeter, with tremendous kinetic energy: they travel around 10 kilometers per secondThat is 36,000 kilometers per hour. At this speed, according to NASA’s calculations, an object 1 cm in diameter for Go through the cabin Space ship. A risk is now more than real, to the point that spacewalks for astronauts and cosmonauts have been reduced to a minimum.

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Collect, cut, defrost

While technologies are being developed for to send from orbit debris orbiting the Earth (which promotes its spread into the depths of space or its return to the Earth’s atmosphere, where it burns) and monitoring systems It’s getting more and more complicated, and there are facts that have gone further and are thinking of ways to make it happen for recycling space debris.

To do this, you have to first of all take them back. This is what the Japanese startup is working on astral, which has already shown how Satellites to capture space debris.

in the United States of America Nanorax is developing automated system I proceeded to move on to the next step, which is cutting and storage, while the citizen Cislunar aims to create a kind of “foundry“The circuit in which waste is converted into metal rods.

solid fuel

The last piece of the series was added by the Australian Newman space who developed a ion impulse, a technology that turns solid, conductive metal rods into plasma produces a Pay. ‘Many invest capital in ruins’, he told him guardian Herve Aster from Neumann’s space. “Often it is to bring them up to the atmosphere and burn them. But if they are there and you can capture and reuse them, it makes sense to do so. […]. It’s like developing a gas station in space“.