Russia is developing a satellite to recycle space debris

The problem of space debris every yeargetting sharper. According to modern estimates, up to 300 thousand man-made objects with a total mass of up to 5 thousand tons are located in the region of low near-Earth orbits up to altitudes of about 2000 kilometers. According to statistical analysis, the size of 60-100 thousand of these objects is more than 1 centimeter in diameter. Nobody knows the exact number. For the Earth is relatively safe. As a rule, its small parts burn in the atmosphere. Large, in rare cases, the planet still fall, but so far there have not been any cases of falling of this garbage in residential areas. At the same time, all this garbage represents a great danger for satellites, as well as for cargo and manned ships, so it is not surprising that many private and state organizations around the world are trying to develop systems that would make our near-Earth space cleaner.

For example, not so long ago we wrote about the Britishproject RemoveDEBRIS. Within its framework, there have been successful trials of a small apparatus, equipped with a fishing net and a harpoon, with the help of which it can capture pieces of space debris.

To solve the problem of our clogged orbitthe planet joined and Russia. Russian Space Systems (RCS) are developing a space complex capable of not only capturing failed satellites (estimated to be about 5000) and other large objects of space debris, but also convert them into fuel for their own fuel.

Special cable system will allow spaceCleaner to capture and attract objects (at an altitude of 500 to 700 kilometers above the surface of the planet) and send them to a two-roll chopper. Then a drum-ball mill, in which the garbage will be processed to the state of fine powder, comes into play.

"The apparatus consists of a trap, including networks inthe shape of a dome and a cone, and a processing system. When a satellite goes into a trap, it goes through a processing stage through a grinder and a special mill, ”TASS quoted the words of the project developer, RKS research engineer Marina Barkova.

Frayed inside the space shredderthe device will then mix with oxygen and hydrogen and turn into fuel, says the project manager. The fuel will be used in the engines of the complex for maneuvers and flight to the next spent satellite or other fragment of space debris. The on-board computer and robotic control systems of the RCS will be powered by solar panels.

"Onboard SCM is supposed to be placedwater regenerator, the principle of which is based on the reaction Sabatier. This device through the membrane-electrode unit will produce an oxidizer - oxygen and fuel - hydrogen. These two substances will be mixed with the powder from space debris and used as fuel for the onboard engine, which will be periodically turned on to lift the device ever higher up to the orbits of debris, up to the orbit of the device’s burial, ”the official site of the RKS states.

At the moment, the project is awaiting a patent. The application for the interior of the complex was filed in 2018, for the exterior - in 2019. According to Barkova, the cost of creating the device will be about 7.5 billion rubles.

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