Japan's unmanned experimental probe fails to get rid of space debris

Janis ColeFeb 08, 2017

However all did not go according to plan - "We believe the tether did not get released", leading researcher Koichi Inoue told The Guardian. Whipping around the planet at high speeds, tiny bits of space junk pose a hazard to equipment and human life. After dropping off the goods and being refilled with ISS trash, the spacecraft was to deploy a 2,300-foot-long tether to lasso space junk and drag it back to Earth.

If we continue creating space debris, we may render some orbits around Earth unusable, limiting the number of communications satellites and other spacecraft we can send to space. The effort was meant to neutralize space debris from cast-off equipment from old satellites and pieces of rocket. The mission was really a failure, as the attempt to return the transporter was experimental and it completed its main mission of delivering supplies to the International Space Station successfully.

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There are still more than 100 million pieces of waste revolving around the planet.

-An experimental tactic to clean up "space junk" failed to get the job done, Japanese officials said Monday, marking a disappointing foray into efforts to trap and destroy tens of millions of pieces of debris circling the Earth.

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Before the HTV-6 spacecraft's fiery end, it spent a week orbiting the Earth to test out the Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiment (KITE), or technology for removing space junk.

Sometimes, the Space Station actually needs to change its orbit in order to avoid a large piece of space junk that comes too close to it. If these collisions progress unchecked, the amount of debris in low Earth orbit will make spaceflight unfeasible. Both the craft and the space debris would burn up on re-entry.

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It "will not include the ability to rent or buy programming or play back previously purchased programs", the cable company said. Most of the Xfinity features you're used to will be present, but there are a few restrictions while the app is still in beta.

"The current space environment is growing increasingly hazardous to spacecraft and astronauts", Donald Kessler, chair of the committee that produced the report and retired head of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office, said in a statement, according to NPR.

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