icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Russia invents self-destroying satellite to solve burgeoning ‘space junk’ problem

Russia invents self-destroying satellite to solve burgeoning ‘space junk’ problem
Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has invented a satellite with the ability to destroy itself at the end of its life, offering a solution to the significant problem of space debris.

The materials used in the satellite means it would “evaporate” when it is no longer useful, preventing it from adding to the increasing volume of defunct man-made objects that are floating around in space.

A patent filed with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) shows that this would involve constructing the satellite out of materials that sublimate, meaning they transition directly from solid to gas without becoming liquid.

Also on rt.com Long night? Space junk could make dark sky a reality, scientists warn

This clever construction would allow the satellites to self-decompose when they get a signal from Earth.

The space debris conundrum has long been exercising the minds of scientists and engineers. In 2016, Roscosmos experts concluded that if the problem is not dealt with then space exploration could entirely grind to a halt as all of near-earth orbit would be clogged up with junk equipment.

There is currently more than 8,400 tons of space trash orbiting the Earth, according to the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office. While some of this is accounted-for by functioning spacecrafts, the vast majority is waste from thousands of launches and deployments, as well as from explosions and collisions.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Podcasts