Mitigating space pollution
By seeking to make space cleaner for future generations, his project takes sustainable development policy beyond its tradition terrestrial limits!
The frequent collisions and subsequent breakup of larger debris is only adding to the number of useless items littering near-Earth space.
According to Christophe Bonnal, “Even in the unlikely event that all launches were stopped, the amount of debris would still continue to rise!”
Furthermore, this debris, even the smaller items, can cause huge damage to operational satellites. It is therefore vital to clean up the orbits around our planet.
Preventive measures have been taken, including the “25-year rule”, which limits the time any object is allowed to remain in orbit.
Various deorbiting solutions have already been envisaged, but each one poses the same problem of energy requirements.
An original system: tether satellites
The principle is simple: the “cleaner satellite” is fitted with a 30- to 50-kilometre tether, stored in a reel.
This tether is propelled towards the debris object and latches onto it. It is then cut, and the cleaner satellite and debris separate by reaction.
The validity of all theoretical concepts and technical aspects of the project have already been demonstrated.