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Making Space Junk Extinct

7 Aug 2010, 01:24 UTC
Making Space Junk Extinct
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Someday future generations are going to curse their grandparents for preventing them from leaving Earth due to space junk.
Fortunately it looks like one company is working on a solution to reduce future space junk, which may help us keep terrestrial and lunar skies clean.
Under government funding, Global Aerospace Corporation has begun developing a LEO satellite de-orbit system that uses a lightweight, inflated envelope to increase the drag area that can increase natural orbit decay by orders of magnitude. The Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device (GOLD) concept increases the cross-section area of a satellite to increase atmospheric drag, or momentum exchange with atmospheric molecules, that results in a reduction of satellite energy and subsequent orbit lowering. [...]
It has been determined that if GOLD were to be used by all satellites under US regulatory influence over the period from 2010 to 2025, its use would reduce the probability of collisions to most LEO satellites by up to ~40%. (Global Aerospace)
While GOLD will not by itself rid our skies of space junk, it can help reduce how much future garbage we leave in the heavens above (which will aid us later after someone figures out how to safely remove the ...

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