40

Removing debris costs money. Even with many words like "efficient", "low-cost", and so forth, a system capable of removing a significant amount of space debris still involves a budget requirement containing a large number of digits. For other space programs, the motivation for the large sums of money spent is a gain of some sort. Scientific data, military ...


10

This answer responds to the title question "Harpooning satellites? Is this really the best way to get them under control?". I've studied this problem, the answer is "no", based on this rationale: all satellites have adequate hard points on them from launch, usually in the form of a launch vehicle adaptor ring a harpoon will create secondary debris even on ...


7

The RemoveDebris mission is a low-cost, small mission to demonstrate 4 key technologies needed for removal of large space debris (i.e. defunct satellites). Surely large modern spacecraft have several sturdy things to hold on to already. No. Satellites are generally not built to be serviced on orbit, so they don't have fittings that can be reliably ...


5

The raw video is available here and there's some more context in the video in this tweet.


3

No, there's no plan. Tragedy of the commons. ESA have trialed some solutions, with the RemoveDEBRIS mission. The Journal of the British Interplanetary Society has some papers on the Necropolis system


1

Something like the D3 system you linked to is completely different from something to handle debris - it's a mechansim for planned disposal of a spacecraft (ie prevention of junk/debris rather than cleanup) and has to be installed on the satellite before launch. You can't just go around duct-taping them to the side of junk and using it. Cleaning up what are ...


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