Japanese spacecraft tracks derelict rocket

spaced apart

Japanese spacecraft meeting Carrying 3 tons of rocket debris during a high-stakes flight, of BBC reportan effort to explore whether it is possible to remove the ever-increasing amount of space debris floating around our planet.

A satellite developed by Astroscale Japan Inc. tracked the 15-year-old rocket section and took photos of a floating 36-by-15-foot chunk of space debris. BBC.

The Astroscale satellite was launched in February this year and uses onboard cameras and precise calculations to perform this delicate maneuver without shocking the derelict rocket as it slowly rotates in orbit around Earth. was approaching the debris.

The purpose of this particular mission is to take pictures of rocket debris, take detailed notes about its condition, and test the satellite’s ability to approach it. Future operations will require Astroscale to launch another satellite with a robotic arm to bring this space junk under control and safely “derobit” it. According to the statement From the company.

big danger

The floating space debris in question came from a Japanese rocket that launched an environmental sensing satellite in 2009. BBC I will report.

The destruction of a single satellite is not a big deal, but today’s civilization relies heavily on orbiting satellites for advanced communications and other critical missions, and large amounts of space debris can be a major problem for private companies and governments. This is becoming a growing problem. And yet, According to NASAThere are already tens of thousands of pieces of space debris larger than 10 centimeters floating around the Earth, and an additional 500,000 pieces of debris ranging from 1 centimeter to 10 centimeters in diameter.

As of 2022, the space agency calculates that there is a total of more than 9,000 tons of space debris floating around Earth. There’s a pile of garbage.

The obvious problem with this space junk is that collisions may occurwhich could disrupt communications on Earth and even the safety of astronauts in the sky.

Particularly spectacular collisions can even cause chain reactions known as Kessler syndromemany satellites would be damaged and much of the sky would be impassable for future space missions and satellite communications.

Needless to say, that’s very bad. So you can see why Astroscale is so passionate about solutions.

Learn more about space junk: A startup develops a giant laser to shoot space debris from the ground

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