Space Debris

European Satellite ERS-2 to Reenter Earth’s Atmosphere This Week

One of the largest reentries in recent years, ESA’s ERS-2 satellite is coming down this week. After almost three decades in orbit, an early Earth-observation satellite is finally coming down this week. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) European Remote Sensing satellite ERS-2 is set to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere on or around Wednesday, February 21st. …

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Swiss company selects Arianespace to launch first space debris removal mission

Artist’s concept of ClearSpace’s spacecraft approaching a piece of space debris from a previous Vega rocket launch in 2013. Credit: ClearSpace Swiss-based in-orbit servicing startup ClearSpace has contracted Arianespace to launch its first debris removal mission to capture and deorbit a 100-kilogram (220-pound) piece of space debris. Europe’s Vega C will launch the ClearSpace-1 servicer …

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NASA chief criticizes China for uncontrolled rocket re-entry

The core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket, seen here before launch, re-entered the atmosphere over the Arabian Peninsula and Indian Ocean late Saturday. Credit: Xinhua NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Saturday that China is failing to meet “responsible standards” on space debris after a massive Long March rocket stage fell back to Earth …

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Large Chinese rocket tumbling toward toward unguided re-entry this weekend

A Long March 5B rocket lifts off with the Tianhe space station module. Credit: Xinhua For the second time in a year, a large spent Chinese rocket stage intentionally left in orbit is heading for an unguided plunge back into Earth’s atmosphere Saturday or Sunday somewhere between 41.5 degrees north and south latitude. The heavy-lift …

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Chinese Long March 6 rocket delivers nine small satellites to space

A Long March 6 rocket lifts with April 27 with nine satellites. Credit: CASC Nine small Chinese satellites, including a technology experiment to test out ways to capture space debris, rode a Long March 6 rocket into orbit April 27 on a rideshare mission managed by China Great Wall Industry Corp., the government-owned enterprise charged …

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Privately-funded mission takes off to begin space debris cleanup trials

The ELSA-d mission’s servicer and chaser satellites (bottom and top) during ground testing last year. Credit: Astroscale A commercial mission developed by the Japanese company Astroscale rocketed into space on a Russian Soyuz launcher Monday with 37 other payloads, ready to kick off an orbital “dance” with two small spacecraft demonstrating how satellite sweepers might …

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Garbage pallet jettisoned from space station will stay in orbit two-to-four years

A pallet loaded with disused batteries was jettisoned from the International Space Station’s robotic arm Thursday. Credit: NASA NASA ground controllers sent commands to the International Space Station on Thursday for release of a 2.9-ton cargo pallet loaded with old batteries, the most massive object ever jettisoned from the orbiting outpost. The garbage carrier is …

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