CleanSpace One: The First Orbital Vacuum Cleaner

CleanSpace One

CleanSpace OneFor some reason, this strikes me as being neat: A robot spacecraft, CleanSpace One, is being developed to suck in all of those satellite parts and other debris that are orbiting the earth, posing hazards to working spacecraft and generally getting in the way.

But:

Before CleanSpace One is ready for space, there are technological hurdles to overcome. One being the machine’s ability to come within range of an object in space, to be close enough to capture it. Another hurdle is developing robotic arms that can “grab” the item. After being captured, the debris will be taken by the robot spacecraft back into the Earth’s atmosphere, where both will disintegrate upon re-entry.

It’ll cost about $11 million to get CleanSpace One into orbit, but its creators, a team of astronauts and professors at the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, think that rising spacecraft insurance premiums will encourage aerospace companies to kick in.

[brightcove vid=1454775467001&exp3=1275216913001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=1130468786001&pk=AQ~~,AAABBzUwv1E~,xP-xFHVUstjFMsS-3Kb8-iZB6sJ0hUm_&lbu=http://mashable.com/2012/02/15/cleanspace-one-robot/&w=620&h=350]

 

I’d vacuum more often if I had one of these.

Image: EPFL
Video: Mashable

Comments

No Responses to “CleanSpace One: The First Orbital Vacuum Cleaner”

February 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm, Lance H said:

For some reason, I couldn’t help but think of Megamaid when I saw this.

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February 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm, Aeroscholar said:

Reblogged this on Aeroscholar and commented:
I’m glad that this type of work is getting started!

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