RemoveDEBRIS Satellite Net Captures Space Junk in Successful Test

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — RemoveDEBRIS began its experimental phase of its mission on 16 September with the deployment of the net to capture a deployed target cubesat.

The net was developed and supplied by a team of engineers at Airbus in Bremen, Germany.

The RemoveDEBRIS satellite platform was designed and manufactured by SSTL and houses two target cubesats and four debris removal technologies – a net, a harpoon, vision based navigation using cameras and LiDaR, and a de-orbit dragsail. The spacecraft is operated in orbit by SSTL’s engineers from our Spacecraft Operations Centre here in Guildford.

RemoveDEBRIS is a low cost mission funded jointly by the European Commission and 10 partners including Airbus, Surrey Space Centre, Ariane Group, SSTL, ISIS, CSEM, Inria and Stellenbosch University.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement #607099.

  • P.K. Sink

    Cool. It’s a start.

  • patb2009

    Is it just me, or did that space net merely create a new piece of space junk?

  • therealdmt

    Weird. But now what?

  • therealdmt

    Sure, but space junk in a net — that’s different. Innovation 😉

  • Michael Halpern

    active deorbit, though for this get the arm to pick it up for study if possible

  • Kirk

    The target was an inflated balloon, so that space junk in a net has a low ballistic coefficient. Since it started off in a low orbit, I wouldn’t expect it to last long.