Switzerland will launch a space cleaners


16/02/2012

Neat Swiss are going to spend spring cleaning in space. Swiss scientists announced on Wednesday that it plans to launch "orbital janitors," which were designed for the purpose of cleaning the debris in Earth orbit.

Sputnik price of $ 11 million was named CleanSpace One. The prototype of this family of satellites is currently being built at the Swiss Space Center of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL).

Representatives of EPFL said Wednesday that the launch will be made within three to five years. First of all, the space will janitor cleaning the two Swiss satellites launched in 2009 and 2010. According to the space agency NASA in Earth orbit has accumulated more than 500,000 fragments of spent rocket stages, broken satellites and other man-made objects, the position in space of which have to constantly keep track of.

The debris is moving at a speed of about 28,000 kilometers per hour, which can lead to the destruction or severe costly and time-consuming to fix, damage satellites or spacecraft. Collisions in turn give rise to an even greater number of fragments.

Scientists explained that the creation of such a satellite must address three major problems. The first is the need to adhere to the exact trajectory: Satellite must have the ability to correct its direction to overtake the target. EPFL scientists have said that to solve the problem they are working on a new ultra-compact motor. Next, the satellite must seize and stabilize the debris at high speed. Scientists are studying how plants and animals capture objects in a model, based on which to create the technology. And finally, CleanSpace One has to deliver debris or unwanted satellites back to Earth’s atmosphere, where they burn up when entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Original: Physorg


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