SpaceX recently launched the Dragon spacecraft in order to remove the space junk in its first space junk removal experiment. The scientists from the University of Surrey Space Center in the UK have created a space junk collector, dubbed as RemoveDEBRIS , will run a series of experiments in the coming months.
The main aim of the RemoveDEBRIS is to capture and destroy the space junks that are floating in the space. The estimated number of debris till now which are floating in the space around the Earth is estimated to be around 500,000 pieces. The space debris which are floating around the Earth are traveling at such high speeds that the speed is capable enough to cause any serious damage to any spacecraft. The scientists from all over the world gave many solutions to clean up this debris but these ideas remain in the form of ideas till RemoveDEBRIS came forward.
The SpaceX’s Dragon landed at ISS and the spacecraft cargo started to get unloaded by the crew which includes the experiment. RemoveDEBRIS is said to be about 100 kilogram or around 220 pounds space junk collector whose size is about a washing machine. RemoveDEBRIS satellite is carrying different devices which will help in removing the debris. It has two harpoons and among the two one is larger harpoon which is about 1.5 metres long and have weight about 2.2 kg and another harpoon is about 1 foot long.
The RemoveDEBRIS experiment will start by taking a dummy piece of space junk with the help of the net. The last test will be firing of the harpoon which will be attached to the satellite arm at a test target. If the test give positive results then this technology will be used to clean up the debris that are floating around the Earth.
The launch of RemoveDEBRIS from ISS is scheduled at the end of May or in early June 2018.