Package Delivery and Trash Pickup, Courtesy of the VASIMR Rocket

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Costa Rican creates plasma rocket to pick up space trash
Global Post

Before launching speedier Mars missions, Chang Diaz proposes some practical uses of the rocket closer to Earth. It could, for example, act like a DHL in outer space, in which plasma-thrust crafts would transport packages, mainly fuel, to satellites or spaceships on the cheap — well, cheaper. Shipments that today run to the tune of a billion dollars, according to the CEO, would cost half a billion on Ad Astra spacecrafts.

He mentioned another use that flies closer to the heart of his eco-friendly homeland. These ships could start to clean up the clutter left by disused satellites.

“The Earth has become virtually a beehive,” Chang Diaz said. “The number of satellites orbiting the Earth, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of these objects. Some of them are just junk that’s floating there simply because these satellites have run out of fuel and they just remain in orbit dead….”

“Our goal is to be able to have a garbage truck that will be picking up all of these objects at various orbits, obviously for a price,” he said. Ad Astra could toss the debris into an “orbital graveyard,” he added, “or we could actually launch them to the sun and drive them to the sun, which is kind of the ultimate, cosmic dump.”

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