[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon May 21 19:39:39 UTC 2012

On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM, spike wrote:
> BillK, when you make these kinds of suggestions, estimate the delta V
> required to do it.  Once you do those calculations a few times, you see why
> we don't have some kind of robot shuttle wandering around scooping up space
> debris, and why we will not be getting that capability any time soon.

Hey, I know we don't have orbital vacuum cleaners yet. That's what the
word 'proposed' means. :)
We don't have asteroid retrieval systems yet either.

But NASA, DARPA and others are discussing active orbital debris removal systems.
It will probably have to be an international discussion, as old
Russian rocket stages and dead satellites are still their property and
they might not take kindly to other people interfering with them.

And there is also the 'space weapon' problem, If you have the
capability to de-orbit a dead satellite, then you could also de-orbit
live satellites. That must be why the US military is also interested.


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