RIA Novosti: Scientists Understand How to Save the Earth from Space Debris
The scientific results of Samara University researchers are published in Acta Astronautica journal
Samara University scientists have developed the method for cleaning space from large debris, multi-ton stages of rockets in particular, that threaten to impact the Earth. The results of the study are published in Acta Astronautica journal.
Near space is part of the ecosystem of our planet. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), near-Earth space already contains 20 thousand non-functioning satellites, used upper stages of rockets and their debris (large debris). In near space there are hundreds of multi-ton "old" rocket stages. If they are not removed, then after decades they will fall to the Earth due to the influence of the atmosphere.
"We proposed a scheme for future space missions to capture old stages of rockets with a harpoon and tow them to dense layers of the atmosphere, including time calculation of their impact on the Earth and the size of possible areas of impact. All our ideas are proven by accurate calculations and analysis. It is impossible to overestimate the practical significance here, because these are recipes for saving the planet”, – Head of Samara University Theoretical Mechanics Department Vladimir Aslanov commented.
The experts said that if two artificial bodies collide in space at a speed of 10 km /s, a process similar to a nuclear reaction will start: the fragments of these bodies will collide with others. In this case the existing satellites will get out of order, and the "pollution" of the orbits will happen. In its turn, this can lead to the impossibility of cleansing space from debris, since all rescue equipment will be destroyed by fragments from technogenic space destruction.
Now scientists are working on the detailing of existing schemes and are inventing new ones.