With the ever growing commercial/private space operations, it was inevitable that someone would start talking about salvaging some of the space junk orbiting the Earth.
Israeli startup Effective Space Solutions (EFS) has an idea on how to help stranded satellites either getting back up into space, or coming down for the fall.
The idea is to use a microsatellite that can attach itself to satellites in incorrect orbits and put them back in place, or extend the lives of satellites running low on fuel.
The company stated that its DeOrbiter could salvage the European Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites now stuck in a useless orbit after the failure of a rocket stage landed the satellites lower than needed.
So why is this important. For a variety of reasons the least of which is that as commercial mission grow more numerous, the insurer’s of the satellites’s/rockets/etc. need to have a way of trying to recover from any losses that occur.
The other is more obvious, the amount of space debris orbiting the Earth needs to be reduced in an economical manner.
They aren’t the only players in the game. NASA has been practicing satellite-refueling operations, and could give EFS a run for their money.
And Intelsat of Luxembourg and Washington are developing a space tug.
There are other players, but the real question is who will get there first? Nobody likes to think about garbage (except on the days you need to take it out), but it is becoming a clear necessity.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +