Wow! Private space-junk probe snaps historic photo of discarded rocket in orbit

Homer10

Here's how I would approach orbital object removal. Removal vehicle maneuvers close to the object. A claw like device on the removal vehicle grips the object. the claw is let out on a long cable (1 mile long), and a rotation of the vehicle and object is started. This rotation is enhanced by the drag of the very thin atmosphere. the rotation must be perpendicular to the direction of orbit. The rotation speed increases to a certain point where the regressing direction of the rotation causes the object to loose enough speed to fall out of orbit. However the Object removal vehicle balances out the system resulting in the two objects together having the correct orbital velocity. Now at a precise moment in the rotation, when the Object removal vehicle is advancing, and the object of interest (space junk) is regressing compared to the total orbital motion, the claw is released. The two objects zoom away from each other with the momentum in the object of interest is lost to the Object removal vehicle. The object of interest (space junk) now falls out of orbit, and burns up. The Object removal vehicle is propelled into a higher orbit by the momentum stolen from the object of interest (space junk), and goes off to intercept another object of interest (space junk). This method would be very useful in removing larger objects in orbit.

Laz

could come in handy, de-orbiting nuclear payloads back home to where they belong

Classical Motion

I have a feeling that with the reduced weight and size without losing function, many more countries and private companies will be putting sats in orbit. For all kinds of reasons and profits.

Trying to pick pieces probably couldn't keep up with new deposits.

We need to figure a way to sweep our orbital area of junk. Individual attention would take forever. And lots of it is too small.

Not to mention an incentive. A prize perhaps. Large enough to form business compacts.

billslugg

Matching speeds with debris is capital intensive and requires lots of delta V. I would put a large laser up there combined with a radar and ablate each piece in its forward direction enough to cause reentry. One satellite could deal with thousands of pieces of debris every day. It only takes a small amount of delta V to deorbit from LEO, about 20 m/s.

Classical Motion

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