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Swiss Janitor Satellite to Pull Satellites Out of the Sky

Written by on Monday, March 12th, 2012

Last Week, we took a look at Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence program, which aims to chart and monitor all of the debris orbiting earth. This is certainly an admirable task, but it is really the first step of a two-step problem. After all, tracking the space junk will do nothing to actually remedy the problem. As long as the the old and useless space debris is orbiting earth, our satellites will constantly be at risk of high speed collisions.

The next step, then, is to figure out how we can actually remove this junk from the skies. This problem is a bit more complicated than it may seem, as the time-tested technique of blowing things up will only make the problem worse. Hitting an old satellite with a weapon will certainly obliterate the satellite, but it will create thousands of pieces of smaller debris that are just as dangerous.

Swiss scientists believe that they have come up with a solution with their aptly-named CleanSpace One. This janitorial satellite will clean up space one satellite at a time by latching onto space junk and pushing it into earth’s atmosphere, causing the satellite to burn up on reentry.

Of course, nobody has ever designed a device like this, so these Swiss scientists are inventing new technology buy cialis online cheapest that will enable them to create successful CleanSpace janitor satellites. Unfortunately, these satellites will only have a one-time use, as the satellite will be almost complete destroyed along with its buddy satellite when they reenter earth’s atmosphere.

The Swiss are already planning to take down some of their own satellites, which will help clean up our cluttered skies.

When looking at such extreme steps taken to remove useless satellites from orbit, one question seems to stand out: is all of this effort really necessary? The answer, it seems, is yes. The problem of space debris is particularly troubling because it can easily create a sort of avalanche effect. Once a satellite is hit, it will break apart and create thousands of high-speed bullets. These objects will destroy more and more satellites, until our orbital space is a lethal cloud of space junk travelling at thousands of miles per hour.

Additionally, this technology is particularly interesting because of the obvious military implications. This janitorial satellite is just one step away from being a sort of satellite weapon that could be used to take down vital enemy satellites. As it stands, US satellites would be virtually defenseless against a device such as CleanSpace One, as orbiting vessels are not properly equipped with defense systems.


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