Spacecraft approaches metal object zooming around Earth, snaps footage

Spacecraft approaches metal object zooming around Earth, snaps footage

A spacecraft has taken a close-up image of a large piece of metal. Earth – A step in dealing with the growing situation of humanity space junk Troubles

fragile the location The mission, launched by Japanese satellite technology company Astroscale, used its ADRAS-J satellite to travel within several hundred meters of an uncommunicated, derelict part of an abandoned rocket, proving that it can observe safely at such close proximity.

“Photos or it didn't happen,” the company posted on X (formerly Twitter). “Behold, the world's first image of space debris captured by rendezvous and proximity operations during our ADRAS-J mission.”

The mission is part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) of Japan NASA counterpart) “Debris Demonstration Commercial Removal” project, which explores a proven way to remove space junk from Earth orbit. A collision involving a large object can create thousands more pieces of debris, which can set off a domino effect of future impacts.

The experimental spacecraft will now continue to fly by the rocket, which was launched by Japan in 2009, gathering more data on the rocket's condition and motion. The company said in a statement that the following mission, with that information in hand, “will then remove and decommission the rocket body using in-house robotic arm technologies.”

“We chose this target because it is a large piece of space debris and there are many similar ones on the (space debris) list,” Toro Yamamoto, who leads Japan's commercial removal mission, said in a statement. (cylindrical) pieces.” Statement. “If we succeed, we expect to be able to apply these techniques to remove similarly shaped space debris.”

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The ADRAS-J spacecraft is approaching its massive space junk target.
Credit: Astroscale

Space junk is a serious problem.. Irregular orbital debris now orbits Earth in a region of space known as low-Earth orbit, or LEO.

“LEO is an orbital space junkyard,” NASA explained. “Millions of pieces of space junk are flying in LEO. Most of the orbital debris consists of man-made objects, such as pieces of spacecraft, small pieces of paint from spacecraft, parts of rockets, defunct satellites. are doing, or blasting objects in orbit speeding through space.”

Unintended collisions may occur. But deliberate actions have dramatically degraded the LEO environment. “For example, the deliberate destruction of the Chinese Fengyun-1C spacecraft in 2007 and the accidental collision of an American and a Russian spacecraft in 2009 alone have increased the orbital debris population in LEO by about 70%, “There are high risks of spacecraft collisions operating in low Earth orbit.” NASA noted..

gave International Space Station Multiple maneuvers are required to avoid close impacts from high-velocity debris.

More recently, during a difficult test in 2021, Russia fired a missile at its 4,850-pound satellite Cosmos 1408, creating a cloud of fragments that triggered an emergency response at the relatively nearby space station.

“We're going to see the consequences of this particular event for the next few decades,” Hugh Lewis, a professor of astronautics at the University of Southampton who researches space debris, told Mashable at the time. “It was not a good result. It was never going to be a good result.”

“There was no worse goal to aim for with respect to human spaceflight,” he added.

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