Russia Investing $2 Billion in Space Debris Removal


Image via Keith Fiore

We've seen some crazy ideas for getting rid of space debris, a problem that sounds absurd in itself but is actually a real issue for satellites and even astronauts in the International Space Station. However, Russia is set on a concept that they think is worth serious investment -- about a $2 billion investment. Energia, Russia's space corporation, is planning to build a "pod" that will knock junk out of orbit and back down to earth.According to Fast Company, the pod will have a nuclear power core to keep it running for about 15 years while it orbits the earth knocking defunct satellites out of orbit so that it can either burn up in the atmosphere or drop into the ocean (hopefully not on somewhere populated...).

The pod will be constructed by 2020 and the company hopes it will be in operation by 2013. One of the company's representatives, Victor Sinyavsky, states "The corporation promised to clean up the space in ten years by collecting about 600 defunct satellites on the same geosynchronous orbit and sinking them into the ocean subsequently," Space Daily reports.

This seems like a more legitimate idea than others we've heard of, including shooting junk with water or using giant nets. Silly as it sounds, concepts for removing space debris are getting serious attention as the area around our planet is increasingly clogged with everything from old satellites to spacecraft parts.

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Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Pollution | Waste

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