Space debris proposed to be removed using a plasma beam

A team of scientists from Japan’s Tohoku University has proposed a unique plan for dealing with space debris, based on pushing it out of orbit using a focused plasma beam..

For decades, mankind has polluted not only the surface of the Earth, but also its orbit. Researchers estimate that almost 8.3 tons of space debris has accumulated there, consisting of unusable satellites, instruments and ship debris. For efficient and cheap cleaning, the Japanese propose to send into orbit a special satellite with a helicon plasma engine. When approaching large space debris, the satellite will be able to shoot at it with a directed beam of energy, pushing it into the Earth’s atmosphere, in which it will burn.

Of course, shots of plasma beams will push the satellite in the opposite direction, to avoid this problem, scientists suggest installing a second engine on the back of the hull. It will create the necessary impulse to counteract inertia and stabilize in space..

Space debris proposed to be removed using a plasma beam

During tests in a laboratory simulator chamber that simulates space conditions, they were able to control the satellite as they hoped. The Japanese did not specify exactly how long the device will be cleaning, but they say that it will be able to carry out long enough operations. Given the fact that new debris regularly appears in orbit, such a solution may turn out to be promising.

HES Energy Systems also decided to take care of the environment, which began to develop a passenger electric aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel..

text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: tokkoro

Space debris proposed to be removed using a plasma beam

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