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Satellite that uses magnets to gather space junk will launch tomorrow

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The world's first satellite that uses magnets to gather up space junk will launch tomorrow morning. 

The craft, called ELSA-d and made by Japanese firm Astroscale, will blast off from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket at 6.07am GMT on Saturday (March 20).

The 200kg craft consists of two components that will perform a series of tests in space to trial the ability to retrieve junk with a magnetic mechanism.


Once the tests are finished, ELSA-d will burn up in the Earth's atmosphere – but the satellite will be crucial to informing future space clean-ups. 

The mission, licensed by the UK Space Agency, is acting as a test case for licensing more missions to remove defunct spacecraft and fragments of debris.  

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), there are approximately 9,200 tons of space debris – defined as human-made objects that have fragmented from spacecraft and are now floating aimlessly above the Earth. 

The challenge of avoiding collisions between satellites and debris in space has been recognized by the UN, and satellites are now made to swerve off course to avoid a damaging in-flight impact.  

Source: Satellite that uses magnets to gather space junk will launch tomorrow (msn.com)




This is an absolutely necessary step towards expanding the earths satellite network. 

Edited by UltraMega
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