Experts look to recycle dangerous space junk into rocket fuel in Earth's orbit

WION Web Team
New York Published: Nov 20, 2021, 08:07 AM(IST)

In an international effort, some companies are looking to recycle space junk into rocket fuel (representative image).    Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Several efforts are being made to recycle space junk to come up with rocket fuel in Earth's orbit. For achieving this goal, an Australian company had become a part of an international effort. Three other companies are also making valuable contribution

In a unique initiative, several efforts are being made to recycle dangerous space junk to come up with rocket fuel in space.   

For achieving this goal, an Australian company had become a part of an international effort in this regard.  

Debris from old spacecraft, dead satellites and spent rocket parts have clogged the orbit of Earth. They pose a threat to new satellites and the International Space Station as they travel in orbit at high speeds endangering anything that comes in their way.  

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An “in-space electric propulsion system” has been developed by a South Australian company Neumann Space. It can be used in low Earth orbit to extend the missions of spacecraft, move satellites or de-orbit them.  

For the propulsion system, the company is looking to turn space junk into fuel with the help of three other companies.  

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These three are Japanese start-up Astroscale, which can use satellites to capture bits of debris in space, Nanorocks of the US, which is working to use advanced robotics to store and cut up debris in orbit and another US company, Cislunar, is developing a space foundry to melt debris into metal rods.  

These metal rods will be used as fuel in Neumann Space’s propulsion system as it ionises the metal, which then creates thrust to move objects around orbit.  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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