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How to solve the problem of space debris?

Debris in space and the intelligent solutions designed to make orbital transport safer.
Space debris solutions.


Currently, an estimated 20,000 objects, including satellites and space debris, are cluttering the low Earth orbit. The small size of the remains and their high speed make them very dangerous projectiles. In addition, the launch of new satellites increases the risk of collision.

The problem of pollution not only exists on Earth, but also outside it more immediately. Space is filling up with space junk.

Since humans launched their first artifact into space in 1957, Sputnik-1, thousands of objects, satellites and probes have held a place in space.

These artifacts age and become useless and cluttering Earth's orbit. Currently, an estimated 20,000 objects, including satellites and other space debris, are cluttering the low Earth orbit.
It is also known as space junk 'and encompasses any useless artificial object that orbits Earth

When something is launched into space, some debris from the spacecraft does not return to the atmosphere and remain orbiting at speeds in excess of 27,000 km / h. 

The spectrum of debris is vast: from large rocket debris to small paint chips. A recent study points out that there are at least 10,000 pieces the size of 10 cm out there.

Furthermore, the European Space Agency estimates that 52% of the objects that orbit the Earth are satellites that have become obsolete, rocket debris and other objects detached during missions.

The small size of the remains and their high speed make them very dangerous projectiles. In addition, the launch of new satellites increases the risk of collision. There are currently millions of debris orbiting our planet, posing a threat to our orbital 'highway', not to mention the uncontrolled dangers that can cause potential damage to the many active satellites that bring daily benefits to society.
So what's the most effective way to solve the space debris problem?

The economic solution

According to a new study published by the University of Colorado Boulder, it is not a matter of capturing debris, but rather an international agreement to charge operators 'orbital use fees' for each satellite placed in orbit.

Economist Matthew Burgess, a CIRES member and co-author of the new article, adds: "Orbital usage rates would also increase the long-term value of the space industry." 

By reducing the risk of future satellite and debris collisions, an annual fee that increases to approximately $ 235,000 per satellite would quadruple the value of the satellite industry by 2040; Burgess and his colleagues conclude in the article, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ).

A tax seems like a pretty dissuasive action. But what about technological solutions? These include the removal of space debris from orbit with nets, harpoons, or even lasers; and the 'exorbitant' of a satellite at the end of its useful life.

But engineering solutions have their critics. According to Akhil Rao, an assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College and one of the study's authors, technology solutions would not discourage companies, but rather the opposite:

"Eliminating space debris could motivate operators to launch more satellites, which It will further agglomerate the low Earth orbit, increase the risk of collision and increase costs. "

Robots will clean up space debris

Despite criticism, a possible technological solution that is very popular, and that will be carried out by ESA in 2025, is the launch of a robot that 'cleans' the remaining scrap metal, from disused satellites and others useless artifacts from Earth's orbit.

The project is called ClearSpace-1, by a Swiss startup, and will cost 117 million euros. Another similar project, this time from a Tokyo company, is called Astroscale, which aims to remove orbital debris through the provision of end-of-life services and active debris removal.

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