There’s a spacecraft that can solve the junk problem from space in the following years. StartRocket is making a Foam Debris Catcher, which is a small satellite that would snag space debris by using polymer foam. It’s like a spider web.
It is really a problem
The orbit of the Earth is full of debris, more precisely, 129 million pieces of debris and 34.000 are at least 10 centimeters wide, according to the European Space Agency. These objects are merely moving through the space at incredible speeds of 17,500 mph (28,200 km/h) in low-Earth orbit. Even the tiniest piece could actually cause severe damage to a spacecraft or a satellite.
This is really dangerous because, right now, we’re putting a lot more things into the orbit, and we are just expecting the worst when it comes to space debris. Humans have launched about 10,000 satellites since 1957. However, SpaceX has permission to loft 12,000 crafts for its Starlink satellite constellation, and they have applied for approval for 30,000 more.
So if the environment is crowded, then this will increase the risk of collision. And if they actually collide with the satellites, this could mean a lot of more debris and something known as the Kessler Syndrome. According to scientists, “we will be in jail. We will be in a prison made by debris.”
StartRocket wants its Foam Debris Catcher to help us help the Earth. The 50 kilograms–satellite will use its foam when it gets close to debris clouds, and it will trap junk. Then, the atmosphere drag will encase the debris, sending it down to the atmosphere of Earth, getting rid of it.