E.Deorbit - ESA's Active Debris Removal Mission

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R. Biesbroek et al. (2017), JBIS, 70, pp.143-151

Refcode: 2017.70.143
Keywords: Space debris, active debris removal

More than 23000 objects larger than 10 cm are regularly tracked and LEO represents the most congested zone. Even if all space launches were halted tomorrow, the amount of debris would continue increasing. The most effective way to stabilise debris population is to remove the large non-functional objects from the most populated orbits which are the source of small debris. The term used to remove a large object from orbit is Active Debris Removal (ADR). However, capturing and deorbiting an uncooperative object is extremely challenging; such a mission has never been performed and requires a number of key technology advancements.

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