A huge amount of debris has progressively been generated since the beginning of the space era. Most of the objects launched into space are still orbiting the Earth and today these object and their by-products represent a threat both in space and on Earth. In Space, debris lead to collisions and therefore to damages to operational satellites. For both issues, a credible solution has emerged over the recent years: actively removing heavy debris objects by capturing them and then either disposing them by destructive re-entry in Earth atmosphere or disposing them in graveyard orbits. The REMOVEDEBRIS project aims to demonstrate key technologies for ADR in these three main domains by performing in-orbit demonstrations representative of an ADR mission. The specific key technologies that will be demonstrated as part of this project are: (i) Capture technologies such as nets and harpoons (ii) De-orbiting technologies such as electric propulsion and drag augmentation (iii) Proximity Rendezvous operations technologies based on vision-based navigation. The technology demonstrations will be carried in orbit using a micro satellite test-bed, a world’s first. The micro satellite will carry the ADR payloads together with 2 deployable nanosatellites (CubeSats). Through a series of operations, the nanonsatellites will be ejected, re-captured, inspected and de-orbited, thereby demonstrating the ADR key technologies.
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
78130 Les Mureaux