The European Space Agency successfully tested a solar-sail-type device to speed up the deorbit time for a used cubesat carrier in Earth orbit. The so-called breaking sail, the Drag Augmentation Deorbiting System (ADEO) was deployed from an ION satellite carrier in late December 2022. Engineers estimate the sail will reduce the time it takes for the carrier to reenter Earth’s atmosphere from 4-5 years to approximately 15 months.
The sail is one of many ideas and efforts to reduce space junk in Earth orbit.
“We want to establish a zero debris policy, which means if you bring a spacecraft into orbit you have to remove it,” said Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General.Continue reading “Drag Sail Success! This Satellite Won't Turn Into Space Junk”