Japan Designs Space Net to Capture Orbital Debris

Published by: Andy on 2nd Feb 2011 | View all blogs by Andy
space debris.jpg

Japan Designs Space Net to Capture Orbital Debris

The abundance of space debris surrounding the Earth is a well documented issue that threatens satellites, manned and unmanned spacecraft, and even the International Space Station.  There have been quite a few proposed solutions over the years, but Japan has come up with one that sounds like it could make a difference.

JAXA, Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency, has reportedly teamed up with Nitto Seimo Co., a manufacturer of fishing nets, to develop a special net to capture debris floating in Earth's orbit.  The net will be made of super strong 1mm triple layer thread and will stretch to cover several kilometers of space.  The net will be dispatched aboard a satellite, and after detaching, will orbit the Earth capturing the various debris and abandoned satellites orbiting the planet.

Interestingly, the net was designed as a one-time tool, meant to capture as much debris as possible before it, and the debris it captures, falls back into the atmosphere and burns up.

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