Image: Hypervelocity impact test damage

An aluminium plate, ripped inwards by a single sand grain-sized fleck of aluminium oxide shot at it during hypervelocity testing.

ESA heading toward removing space debris

ESA's goal of removing a derelict satellite from orbit is picking up pace, as a mission design is assembled to be put before European ministers next year for approval.

Naval Research Laboratory patents compact orbital debris sensor

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Geospace Science and Technology Branch, has received a U.S. patent for the Optical Orbital Debris Spotter, a compact, low power, low cost, local space debris detection concept that ...

What can we do with unwanted satellites?

There are thousands of satellites in Earth orbit, of varying age and usefulness. At some point they reach the end of their lives, at which point they become floating junk. What do we do with them then?

Zapping away space junk

Planet Earth is surrounded. Thousands of tons of dangerous space debris circle in low orbit, threatening serious damage, even death, if any were to strike the International Space Station. A proposal by a research team that ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view ...

ESA experts assess risk from exploded satellite

After studying the recent explosive break-up of a US satellite, ESA space debris experts have concluded this event does not increase the collision risk to nearby ESA missions in any meaningful way.

Spacecraft Integral manoeuvres for the future

Since 2002, ESA's Integral spacecraft has been observing some of the most violent events in the Universe, including gamma-ray bursts and black holes. While it still has years of life ahead, its fuel will certainly run out ...

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