SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
News: Space Debris is a serious problem, concerted efforts needed to solve this problem: Russian Pilot – Cosmonaut.
Space debris, also called space junk, man-made material that is orbiting Earth but no longer functional. This material can be as large as a discarded rocket stage or as small as a microscopic chip of paint. Much of the debris is in low Earth orbit, within 2,000 km (1,200 miles) of Earth’s surface; however, some debris can be found in geostationary orbit 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Equator.
As of 2013, the United States Space Surveillance Network was tracking more than 13,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm (4 inches) across. It is estimated that there are about 200,000 pieces between 1 and 10 cm (0.4 and 4 inches) across and that there could be millions of pieces smaller than 1 cm. How long a piece of space debris takes to fall back to Earth depends on its altitude.
Objects below 600 km (375 miles) orbit several years before reentering Earth’s atmosphere. Objects above 1,000 km (600 miles) orbit for centuries.
Because of the high speeds (up to 8 km [5 miles] per second) at which objects orbit Earth, a collision with even a small piece of space debris can damage a spacecraft. For example, space shuttle windows often had to be replaced because of damage from collisions with man-made debris smaller than 1 mm (0.04 inch). (When in orbit, the space shuttle flew tail-forward to protect the forward crew compartment.)
There is almost 7,000 tons of active space debris—from old satellites and spacecraft to lost components and spent rocket parts—orbiting Earth at any given moment. While some of the space junk in orbit decays with time, debris that is located at a higher orbit can take years to disintegrate.
Recently, a space mission named Remove Debris was launched to demonstrate various space debris removal technologies. It is being led by Surrey Space Centre at the university of Surrey UK and is co funded by European commission and other partners. Recently, Surrey Space Centre scheme for removing orbiting debris successfully captured test junk.
Net capture: It involves a net that will be deployed at the target CubeSat.
Harpoon Capture: Which will be launched at a target plate made of “representative satellite panel materials”
Vision-based navigation: Using cameras and LiDAR (light detection and ranging), the platform will send data about the debris back to the ground for processing.
De-orbiting process: As it enters Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will burn up, leaving no debris behind.
The Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) is an inter-governmental forum whose aim is to co-ordinate efforts to deal with debris in orbit around the Earth founded in 1993.
ISRO is also part of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC)
ROSATOM also known as the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow that specializes in nuclear energy. Established in 2007, the organization comprises more than 360 enterprises, including scientific research organizations, the nuclear weapons complex, and the world's only nuclear icebreaker fleet.
ROSATOM has the world’s largest portfolio of nuclear power plant construction projects and has world’s largest uranium reserves. It ranks 4th in uranium production and covers 17% of the global nuclear fuel market.
ROSATOM and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) jointly implement Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu.