Spacecraft Deorbiting Device Developed at Purdue Ready for Firefly Alpha Launch on Thursday

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue University PR) — A drag sail that a team at Purdue University developed to pull launch vehicles in space back to Earth is scheduled to undergo a test launch on Thursday (Sept. 2).

The mission, set to take off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, will evaluate how well the prototype helps its vehicle deorbit from space after mission completion. A livestream of the launch will be available through Everyday Astronaut.

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Setting Sail for Sustainable Space: Using Drag Sails to Deorbit Satellites

Deploying a drag sail. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Space is getting crowded. Old satellites, rocket bodies and fragments of both are leaving little space for new satellites to reside in that is free from debris.

The risk of collision with debris and even functioning satellites is increasing, especially in low-Earth orbit, putting many of Earth’s climate, ocean and land monitoring missions in harm’s way.

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