Junk is always a major problem we need to tend to. No matter where we are, we should never leave junk behind. Our priority is to gather it and make sure to dispose of it properly. In this way we protect our health and the environment. But what happens when said junk is actually space junk?
How do we gather it? It is estimated that there are 5500 tons of space junk surrounding Earth. Some pieces are large enough to endanger satellites and space missions. In order to solve this problem, Japan came up with a simple, yet amazing idea. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency wishes to create a giant net to gather it up.
The space junk surrounding Earth is made of everything from dislodged rocket stages to smaller bits that broke away due to collisions. Their paths are already tracked by several agencies that make sure no collision occur. However, this is only a temporary solution. Something needs to be done in order to make future space missions safe.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is working together with a fishing equipment manufacturer in order to create a magnetic net that would be able to collect debris. After the space junk will be collected, the net will bring it in the Earth’s atmosphere where the debris will burn up.
The first tests will use a 1,000 foot long net that has a magnetic charge. This charge will attract debris as it passes by it. If the test works as it should, the next step would be to use a 2/3 of a mile long net for the second round. Future plans include the idea to create a big enough net to attract entire rocket stages. The initial test will take place in February. Can you think of other methods to get rid of space junk?
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