A rubbish collection service for space was announced this week as a solution for all the debris we have left floating around in the earth’s atmosphere.
The mission – entitled RemoveDEBRIS – has been designed by the Surrey Space Centre to gather up human products such as rocket boosters, old satellites and other bits of hardware.
The RemoveDEBRIS platform will be launched to the International Space Station packed in specialist boxes. The rubbish-grabbing arm technology will then be assembled and moved outside, where it will start collecting the rubbish.
Dr Jason Forshaw, project manager on the RemoveDebris team, said: “RemoveDebris will be one of the world’s first missions in this area. We have technologies on here that have never been demonstrated in space before.”
I do find it kind of shameful and embarrassing that as human beings, we have been so messy in space that we have now had to invent something to clear it all up before it starts causing problems.
The junk can not only cause serious collisions with other working technology in space, it could also lead to serious damage on the International Space Station. There are also fears that, long term, the large amount of rubbish will mean we are no longer able to explore or use the space around earth.
I’m no scientist, but maybe we should try to be a bit tidier up there in future.