Russia To Develop Space Debris Removal System


Russia’s space agency Roscosmos is planning to develop a system to remove hazardous debris from orbit, the agency’s Deputy Chief Sergei Savelyev said on Wednesday.

Since the scope of space activities is steadily increasing, space debris will eventually pose a serious problem for any spacecraft, including the International Space Station (ISS), operating in near-Earth orbit.

“Roscosmos has decided to develop a system capable of removing large-size space debris from the critical areas of near-Earth orbit, and to set up an automated system to warn about potentially hazardous situations in space around the Earth,” Savelyev said at a science conference held as part of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2012.


“Due to the global nature of the [space debris] problem, Roscosmos is ready to cooperate with European agencies on both projects,” the official said.

U.S. Air Force Space Command is tracking around 22,000 pieces of man-made space debris, mostly “chunks” over ten centimeters in length, and there are supposedly hundreds of thousands of smaller bits.

According to scientists, anything larger than a baseball poses a potentially deadly threat to the ISS.

In March, a piece of “space junk” barely missed the ISS, forcing its crew members to take refuge in the rescue craft.

Similar incidents occurred in 2009 and 2011.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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