Swiss satellite being sent to clean up the mess in outer space

NASA currently monitors approximately 17,000 pieces of space junk that are orbiting the earth at extremely high speeds. These odds and ends consist of things like dead satellites, spent rocket stages and parts that have broken off of spacecraft. As the amount of junk increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for functioning satellites to avoid colliding with it. When collisions do occur, the satellite is often destroyed, with the resulting debris further adding to the problem. Scientists from Swiss research institute EPFL, however, have decided that enough is enough - they're currently developing a small satellite known as CleanSpace One, which will be tasked with grappling expired satellites and pulling them back to Earth.

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+31 1. MajorIdea commented 10 years ago

Gotta love the Swiss :)
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+20 2. imagic commented 10 years ago

very clean country, Zwitserland, nice people also, and now they are going to clean up space as well,, 10 thumbs up for them !
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+15 3. FatHorse commented 10 years ago

I proposed a test run in my apartment but they said they didn't have 3 cleaning bot to spare for such an impossible task...!

True story...! O:)
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+4 4. pyr0 commented 10 years ago

This robot picks up the frozen poop from the ISS so it does not destroy satellites.
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+6 5. oleHashow commented 10 years ago

just deploy magnets when they get too heavy they will fall down and burn
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+3 6. bonzenbrunzer commented 10 years ago

humans: specialists in messing things up wherever they go...
anyway, thumbs up for them... it must be a very discourageing plan as there is so much space debris...
but someone gotta do it or our future will completely different if they go on polluting space like that...

one day my daughter's children must go to tattooine... :P
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+1 7. irishgek commented 10 years ago

I know we love recycling but cant we just throw it all towards the sun .....
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+2 8. loadrunner commented 10 years ago

"Spacetrash, we are the Borg resistance is futile you will be assimilated. "
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+6 9. Siruss commented 10 years ago

And not only space,...send out trawlers to start trolling the ocean and sweeping up the floating plastic garbage, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, that is now the size of Texas, and growing.

It is coming to a point where we have to start making it a profitable venture to clean up planet earth instead of the other way around.

If we don't do anything now, the problem is just going to continue to get worse...
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+3 10. orion commented 10 years ago

Am I to understand that this is one-on-one job? One sattelite for each piece of junk? Seems pointless at best.
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+1 11. mcmagalhaes (reviewer) commented 10 years ago

They should grab the each piece of junk and direct it to Earth, so it can burn when entering the atmosphere. But after directing the junk, this satellite should release it so it can grab other debris and direct them to Earth as well, without loosing the satellite.
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0 12. Barklight commented 10 years ago

A good idea @11, but probably more suited for a larger satellite where cost of replacement would be a prohibiting factor, or for something geared towards larger orbital installations (such as the very large satellite they showed early in the clip, or a derelict space station). What they're talking about now appears to be a small and inexpensive device, aimed towards the removal of older inactive satellites, which are generally smaller in size. If the cost of these satellite removal satellites is minimal (such as their current laboratory level experiments), these could realistically be used as bulk fire-and-forget tools. With such a small size and mass, if they went into mainstream development I could easily imagine dozens of these being sent into space - Perhaps more than a hundred depending on the launch vehicle - on a single launch to pick, track, and destroy predesignated targets.

Either way you look at it, a lot of people are going to be making wishes on fake shooting stars :P
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0 13. cyberdevil commented 10 years ago

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-2 14. stretchpadawan commented 10 years ago

#1 I bet ya Julian Assange will disagree with you.

And shame on the Australian Govt for not supporting ma citizen in trouble
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0 15. ringmaster commented 10 years ago

#5, not all material in space reacts on magnets.