SpaceX Falcon 9 just rocketed a harpoon and net into orbit to hunt space junk

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on SpaceX Falcon 9 just rocketed a harpoon and net into orbit to hunt space junk

Human trash now litters space in the form of broken hardware and spacecrafts circling Earth. But the Surrey Space Center is working on tackling the issue – and they just got a boost from SpaceX . Their RemoveDEBRIS technology demonstrator is hitching a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS), where it will hunt space debris using a harpoon and net. Scientists could obtain information on which space junk cleanup strategy works with the RemoveDEBRIS technology demonstrator, which consists of “a main satellite platform that once in orbit will deploy two CubeSats as artificial debris targets to demonstrate some of the technologies,” according to the project page. The platform is packed in specialist boxes ISS astronauts will unpack. The technology will be released outside of the space station via a robotic arm. Harpoon capture, net capture, dragsail, and vision-based navigation are the technologies to be tested on the mission. Related: Airbus wants to harpoon a satellite and bring it back to Earth Principal investigator Guglielmo Aglietti told the BBC experts aren’t yet decided on the best way to clean up space debris , noting the technologies each have their disadvantages and advantages. The project costs around $18 million — the Surrey Space Center described RemoveDEBRIS as low-cost. Aglietti told the BBC, “In my opinion, whether or not there are going to be real missions to remove debris will depend on cost. And I worry that if they are extremely expensive, people will think about other priorities.” The European Commission is providing half of the funding; the partners, including Airbus and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited , will provide the other half. SpaceX said the Dragon spacecraft, which is carrying RemoveDEBRIS among other supplies and payloads on Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14, separated from the Falcon 9’s second stage around 10 minutes following liftoff, and will attach to ISS on Wednesday. + RemoveDEBRIS + SpaceX Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14 + SpaceX Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14 Press Kit Via the BBC Images via Official SpaceX Photos on Flickr and copyright ESA

Read the original: 
SpaceX Falcon 9 just rocketed a harpoon and net into orbit to hunt space junk

China wants to destroy space junk with giant lasers

January 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on China wants to destroy space junk with giant lasers

Not only do we need to worry about pollution on Earth, but also in space . A team of six scientists in China are working on a very science-fiction-sounding solution: zapping that space trash with lasers . Could a space-based laser really help clean up the tens of thousands of pieces of junk orbiting our planet? From magnetic tugs to long tethers , the ideas of how to deal with our space mess have been imaginative but haven’t given us a firm solution yet. Could lasers offer an answer? Researchers from the Air Force Engineering University and Institute of China Electronic Equipment System Engineering Company published their work in the journal Optik last year on space-based lasers to tackle space debris. Related: ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corral broken satellites drifting in space According to the paper’s abstract, the scientists utilized numerical simulation to explore the “impacts of orbital elements of space-based laser station” on Earth-orbiting trash. Per Wired , a space laser could be mounted on a satellite , and in orbit “emit short bursts of near-infrared light:” 20 bursts a second over the course of a few minutes, which could be sufficient to break down the trash into smaller, less dangerous pieces. The scientists said in the abstract their work offers a “theoretical basis for the deployment of space-based laser station and the further application of space debris removal by using space-based laser.” The idea of space lasers isn’t wholly new – a 2015 paper cited by Gizmodo said there’s recently been a renaissance for the notion. That article says a laser would work by imparting energy into hunks of garbage so they could plummet out of orbit and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere . But would the rest of the world accept one country deploying lasers in space? Physicist Victor Apollonov of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ General Physics Institute told Gizmodo such technology could be put to military uses and “due to that, it is questionable.” He said people have been discussing the concept since the early 2000s, and there should be world-scale talks as a first step towards space lasers. Via ScienceDirect , Wired , and Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and ESA

Here is the original post: 
China wants to destroy space junk with giant lasers

ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corall broken satellites drifting in space

June 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corall broken satellites drifting in space

Japan’s experiment to clean up space debris earlier this year may have ended in failure , but the world’s space agencies haven’t given up on the problem yet. The European Space Agency (ESA) recently proposed using a magnetic space tug to sweep up some of the junk that has accumulated in space. The magnetic tug would specifically corall derelict and broken satellites , and hopefully put a dent in the space junk problem. Could magnetic forces be the key to cleaning up space trash? Scientists at the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace at France’s University of Toulouse hope to find out. They’re exploring magnetic attraction or repulsion as part of their investigation into the most effective way to keep satellites in formation out in space. Related: Japan’s experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure Researcher Emilien Fabacher explained it this way: “With a satellite you want to deorbit, it’s much better if you can stay at a safe distance, without needing to come into direct contact and risking damage to both chaser and target satellites. So the idea I’m investigating is to apply magnetic forces either to attract or repel the target satellite, to shift its orbit or deorbit it entirely.” Many satellites are already equipped with what are called magnetorquers, or electromagnets that can use the magnetic field of the Earth to change the satellite’s orientation. So a magnetic space tug could simply target those magnetorquers. The chaser satellite would need a strong magnetic field, but that could be generated with superconducting wires cooled to cryogenic temperatures, according to ESA. The chaser satellite could even catch multiple derelict satellites and position them in formation. Over 100 million pieces of space trash now orbit Earth, and 29,000 of them are large enough to cause damage. Fabacher is working on the project as part of his PhD research, which is supported by ESA’s Networking/Partnering initiative. Via Digital Trends and the European Space Agency Images copyright Philippe Ogaki and copyright Emilien Fabacher/ISAE-Supaero

Read more from the original source: 
ESA unveils magnetic space tug to corall broken satellites drifting in space

This high school in California embodies sustainability at every possible level

June 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on This high school in California embodies sustainability at every possible level

The new Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Bishop O’Dowd high school in California is one of the greenest classrooms we’ve ever seen. Siegel & Strain Architects designed the building to support sustainability at every level while providing a flexible space for learning. It paid off – the classroom has achieved both Zero Net Energy and LEED Platinum certification. The new facility is located at Bishop O’Dowd, a college preparatory high school in the Oakland Hills in California . Its goal is to prepare students for careers in renewable energy, resource management and environmental engineering and inspire them to become innovators in tackling environmental challenges. Related: Sprout Space is an Award-Winning Prefab Modular Classroom by Perkins + Will Passive design strategies minimize the building’s energy use. A deep overhang and low-emissivity dual glazing protect south-facing clerestory windows from unwanted solar gain , while a large porch wraps around the building and shades its west side. Related: Project FROG’s Zero Energy Modular Classrooms Rainwater is collected in a series of large cisterns for use in toilets and irrigation, while low-flow water fixtures reduce the use of potable water by 60% over USGCB-estimated baseline water usage for a building of similar type and size. In order to create a healthy environment, the architects used natural, non-toxic, renewable, recycled and environmentally friendly building materials. + Bishop O’Dowd High School + Siegel & Strain Architects Photos by David Wakely

Go here to see the original:
This high school in California embodies sustainability at every possible level

Japan’s experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure

February 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Japan’s experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure

An experimental effort to remove five decades worth of space junk orbiting Earth has met with failure due to technical problems. A Japanese team planned to use a 700-meter-long tether to coax floating debris to a lower orbit, where it would burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. But something went amiss and the tether couldn’t be extended – despite the best efforts of technicians who tried to fix it. According to the Guardian , more than 100 million pieces waste of various sizes, including cast-off equipment from old satellites and bits of rockets, are currently floating around the Earth. Experts say this garbage could pose risks for future space exploration, or even provoke armed conflict one day. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) developed a giant electrodynamic “tether” which they hoped could slow space refuse and bring it into a lower orbit – where they hoped it could later enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. The plan was to extend the 700-meter-long tether, made from steel and aluminum wires, from a cargo ship launched in December to bring astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station. However all did not go according to plan – “We believe the tether did not get released,” leading researcher Koichi Inoue told The Guardian. “It is certainly disappointing that we ended the mission without completing one of the main objectives.” Related: Japan successfully orbits giant space junk collector The Guardian notes that JAXA has had some other disappointing results lately, including aborting a mission to use a mini-rocket to send a satellite into orbit a few weeks ago, and last year’s abandoned launch of a satellite designed to search for X-rays emanating from black holes and galaxy clusters. Via The Guardian Images via Jaxa and Wikimedia Commons

Read the original here:
Japan’s experimental mission to clean up space junk ends in failure

Japan successfully orbits giant space junk collector

December 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Japan successfully orbits giant space junk collector

Around 100 million pieces of trash cast off from satellites and rockets are circulating in space, causing hundreds of potentially dangerous collisions each year. Now Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) just blasted into orbit a space garbage collector, constructed with the help of a 106-year-old fishing net manufacturer, to help remedy the mess we humans have created. Secure aboard the HTV6 or KOUNOTORI6 vessel, the space trash collector reached its destination successfully Friday. Now the world waits to see just how well the garbage gatherer works. Made of an aluminum and stainless steel mesh with the help of fishing net manufacturer Nitto Seimo , the gatherer’s tether should generate electricity as it passes Earth’s magnetic field to slow junk. Scientists think this action will cause the junk to move into lower orbits so it can burn up in our planet’s atmosphere without harming anyone on Earth. Related: Japan Prepares to Launch Giant Net into Orbit to Sweep up Space Debris The tether made with Nitto Seimo’s fishnet plaiting technology is 2,300 feet long. But engineer Katsuya Suzuki said ultimately such a tether would need to be much longer – as much as 16,400 to 32,800 feet long – “to slow down the targeted space junk.” For now, the shorter tether will test how the design functions, with more trials likely to follow. A JAXA spokesperson said they hope to start regularly using the trash collector by 2025. Garbage can rocket through space at as much as 17,500 miles per hour, damaging expensive equipment and putting astronauts at risk, as harrowingly depicted in the 2013 movie Gravity . JAXA researcher Koichi Inoue told Bloomberg, “We need to take action on this massive amount of debris. People haven’t been injured by the debris yet, but satellites have. We have to act.” The cargo ship carrying the innovative trash collector also ferried drinking water and six lithium-ion batteries to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries that currently store energy from the International Space Station’s solar array. Via Phys.org and Bloomberg Images via JAXA ( 1 , 2 )

See the original post here:
Japan successfully orbits giant space junk collector

14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans

January 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans

News that an unmanned failed Russian space probe — the Phobos-Grunt, or Phobos-Ground in English — was about to smack into Earth shot like wildfire through the airwaves last week as the truth emerged that the Russians had little idea of where it was going to land. Now that it has most definitely crashed somewhere on the planet, they are saying they have no idea where it actually did land or whether the toxic heap of metal sufficiently burned up in the atmosphere. Though the trajectory of spacecraft falling to Earth has always been a difficult thing to predict , the missing Phobos-Grunt is especially worrisome as it is the largest and most toxic piece of space junk to ever plummet to land. Read the rest of 14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: mission to mars , mission to phobos , phobos ground , phobos grunt , roscosmos , russian space mission , russian space organization , russian space probe , Satellite , satellite orbit , space debris , space trash

Originally posted here:
14 Ton Failed Russian Space Probe Is Now Littered Somewhere in Earth’s Oceans

Bad Behavior has blocked 1339 access attempts in the last 7 days.