There are a lot of articles and news that companies have plans on how to get rid of space debris. But I never found a single proven and reliable method. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong place? Or are we really leaving a bunch of garbage in orbit with no way to fix it?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you please edit your question to explain what you mean by "trash"? To ops people "trash / garbage" and "space debris" are not the same thing at all, and the answer will depend on what you mean. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ There is a very reliable method: thing must be released on an orbit where it automatically decays at most in some decades. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Currently, an estimated 20,000 objects including satellites and space debris are crowding low-Earth orbit. It’s the latest tragedy of the commons, the researchers said: Each operator launches more and more satellites until their private collision risk equals the value of the orbiting satellite. So far, proposed solutions have been primarily technological or managerial, said Akhil Rao, assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College and the paper’s lead author. From: colorado.edu/today/2020/05/26 $\endgroup$
    – TommyJo
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


But I never found a single proven and reliable method.

Below roughly 400 km there is of course a proven and reliable method. Wait.

At 400 km the ISS is regularly fighting atmospheric drag by boosting its orbit at regular intervals using propellant in regular shipments from the surface. All you have to do is wait. At 200 km it might be weeks or months at most. a


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