How to get rid of space debris? Here’s how the scientists in Utah did it!


Mechanical engineers have devised a way to spin a magnet and manipulate space junk in orbit. This technique could help space agencies to act faster when disposing of space waste or repairing satellites.

The problem of high-speed space debris coming from decommissioned satellites and before space missions is becoming a problem for space travel, as people fly in space more regularly.

Mechanical engineers, led by University of Utah professor Jake J. Abbott, published their study titled “Skillful magnetic handling of non-magnetic conductive objects,” in nature.

(Photo: NASA / Newsmakers)
383927 13: FILE PHOTO: A close-up view of the solar panel of the Spektr module of the Russian space station Mir shows the damage suffered by the impact of a Russian Progress unmanned refueling ship that collided with the space station on June 25, 1997, causing Spektr to depressurize. Mir nears the end of its existence as Russia plans to take the craft out of orbit in late February 2001 in a controlled crash to throw the space station safely into the Pacific Ocean.

University of Utah explains how to get rid of space junk

In a statement obtained by Science Daily, Abbott said the concept was based on exposing the debris to a fluctuating magnetic field, which causes electrons to flow through the metal debris in charged loops. He explained that it’s “like when you spin your cup of coffee and it goes around in circles.

This would allow space engineers to transport the debris to the desired location without having to touch it. What the engineers at the University of Utah, according to Abbott, are not just pushing space debris but by manipulating the thing from Earth. Abbott said no one has ever done this kind of skillful manipulation before.

The approach was said to have been created after scientists tried a variety of magnets on a copper ball that experts placed on a plastic raft in a water tank. Scientists have discovered that magnets can not only move but also rotate the sphere.

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Robots that can either carry trash into a decaying orbit or push it into space could use the technique, scientists say, could be used in robots.

The approach could prevent any damage to operational satellites. Another advantage of the technology is the control it gives engineers since they can manipulate delicate objects and prevent a broken satellite from going out of orbit.

Implications of this method

While this is useful for removing unrepairable space junk, it can also be used to prevent a damaged satellite from spinning. Interesting Engineering said this allows astronauts and engineers to repair the satellite while it is still in orbit, which was previously considered impossible.

The UU engineering team is only now beginning to grasp the consequences of their method, and they are not even convinced that they fully understand them.

According to Republic World, experts at the University of Utah believe NASA will quickly adopt the technology to deal with the outer space problem. UU experts explained that they did not want to jeopardize the International Space Station (ISS).

Space waste explained

Space debris is a major problem and there have been times when two large dead satellites almost collided, and the International Space Station has also been forced to resort to its emergency maneuvers at least 3 times in order to avoid being hit by space debris. These collisions can be a big problem, but the biggest problems are the explosions that occur in orbit due to residual energy from fuel, batteries, etc.

More than 27,000 objects of space debris orbit the Earth, NASA said by Fox13 News. According to the space agency, the debris is moving at 17,500 mph. The speed is fast enough to damage a satellite or spacecraft.

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