Blasting Space Debris with Ion Beams

Blasting Space Debris with Ion Beams
A prototype satellite that blasts space junk with a plasma beam could help clear the debris from orbit.

Developed by a team from Tohoku University and the Australian National University, the Sheppard system would rely on a two-way argon plasma system that propels the satellite near the space debris and then forces them into a lower orbit, where they will burn. According to the team, the bi-directional plasma system will allow the satellite to remain stable while targeting the debris.

According to associate professor Kazunori Takahashi "If the debris removal can be performed by a single high-power propulsion system, it will be of significant use for future space activity."

Blasting Space Debris with Ion Beams

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