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New Use for Adhesives in Space Addresses Space Junk Threat

Posted By ASC, Thursday, May 11, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Space junk has become a huge problem. Expensive, new satellites are at risk of collision with fragments of defunct satellites. Even a 1cm fragment can seriously damage a satellite, endangering mobile networks, television transmissions, and meteorological forecasting ability. With over 750,000 fragments of space debris drifting in orbit, a cleanup solution is needed, and Singapore-based company Astroscale thinks it may have found one.

The company proposes an adhesive-based solution that will magnetically attract space debris to its sticky surfaces. A “mother” unit will have six adhesive-coated “child” units that collect debris before falling into the atmosphere and combusting. Astroscale is set to launch a demonstration mission and seems confident that its space clean-up service will be open for business by 2020.

Both government and private agencies are expected to become clients since even the most advanced space agencies haven’t yet found a way to deal with the space debris issue. 


Tags:  Industry News 

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