Airbus developed a method to drive 'harpoon' to remove "space debris" causing problems in drifting in space

A broken satellite, a rocket engine dumped when the rocket was launched, andArtificially destroyed artificial satelliteIn space, there are countless trash "space debris" in the universe, such as fragments of flying, and it continues to jump at ultra high speed of several kilometers per second. In order to solve the problem of space debris, which is a threat to other satellites and space ships, Europe's aerospace giant "Airbus" collects space debris and drops it into the atmosphere "Harpoon" (Harpoon · Morning ) We are developing devices like this.

Airbus tests harpoon meant to shoot down satellite-sized space junk

Big harpoon is 'solution to space junk' - BBC News

Airbus is developing a prototype of Harpoon. The tip of the main body with a length of about 90 cm has been sharply pointed and the harpoon struck out of the mother ship is stabbed into the target artificial satellite and other artifacts.

What this system is targeting is a large space debris such as a satellite that got stuck or became uncontrollable and a rocket used for launch. Parts like the "barb" of the fishhook are attached to the pointed end of the tip, and it spreads inside when it is driven into the object, so it does not come out. A tether (rope) leading to the mother ship is attached to the tail of the harpoon, it injects the rocket engine of the mother ship and drags the object to the earth's atmosphere and burns it at high temperature by adiabatic compression.

Airbus has been promoting this project over the past few years. Although it is said that propellants such as gunpowder are actually used in actual equipment to be launched into space and used, it is published that a fire is performed using compressed air to verify the operation instead.

This picture was taken with a slow shot, and the actual speed reaches as much as 25 meters per second. Harpoon is driven into a 3 mm thick metal plate equivalent to an actual rocket or artificial satellite.

The space debris problem is expected to become a bigger problem in the future now that the space development by the private sector is expected to become more active. Various methods are considered as countermeasures for that, but actually there is a possibility that space debris countermeasures may be established as "business". Japan's startup "Astro Scale" is developing technologies and artificial satellites to clean large and small space debris. In the near future, manga / anime work "PlanetesLike a hero 'Hachimaki' appearing in '' a salaryman who collects space debris may be born.

JAXA | Clean the universe with the power of the private sector ASTROSCALE PTE. LTD. CEO Mitsunobu Okada

in Hardware, Posted by darkhorse_log