Some interesting news via the Chinese Xinhua news agency that RSC Energia plans to build a nuclear-power “orbital pod” to clean up space debris. The details include:
- cost: 600 billion rubles ($1.9 billion USD)
- cleanup 600 satellites by dropping them in the ocean over 10 years
- begin operations by 2023
- 15 year lifespan.
The report also indicates that Energia has been developing plans for a “space interceptor designed to destroy dangerous space objects heading toward the Earth.” These presumably would be near Earth objects.
As with many Russian projects, it’s not clear if there is money available or this is a proposal looking for funding.