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Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL)—Setting Sail For A "Clean" Descent (Satellite)

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL)—Setting Sail For A "Clean" Descent (Satellite)

Artistic rendition of the TechDemoSat-1 with sail extended. Image courtesy of SSTL.
Artistic rendition of the TechDemoSat-1 with sail extended. Image courtesy of SSTL.

[SatNews]  Space debris is becoming an increasingly worrying problem for the space industry—many space-faring nations are taking seriously their responsibility for the stewardship of the space environment and are implementing measures that follow the guidelines of the United Nations' Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

In the U.S., NASA adopted a policy to control the generation of orbital debris. Satellite operators are considering various methods, such as de-orbit sails and tethers, as a way to bring inactive low-Earth-orbit satellites into lower orbits for eventual burn-up in Earth’s atmosphere. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.'s (SSTL) science and technology demonstration mission TechDemoSat-1, led by SSTL and scheduled for launch in July this year, will be supporting the COPUOS objectives. At the end of the mission, the satellite’s descent into Earth’s atmosphere will be assisted by one of its eight payloads, a specialized de-orbit sail designed by Cranfield University’s Space Group Team.

 

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June 25, 2014


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