Scientists have sent an experimental satellite called RemoveDEBRIS to the International Space Station (ISS). This is to test out some ways to clean up garbage orbiting around Earth. We keep hearing that humans have generated a lot of trash on Earth. Well, humans have also generated a lot of space junk around our planet. Over half a million pieces of junk, such as nuts, bolts, and other debris left over from space missions and old satellites, are zipping around Earth at very high speeds.
Very small things are difficult to track, but if they hit a spacecraft, the ISS, or other satellites, they can cause damage because of their high speeds. Astronauts have had to move the ISS out of the path of a piece of junk headed towards it multiple times in order to avoid getting hit.
The ISS is a large research facility in space. It is approximately 220 miles (350 km) above Earth’s surface. It goes around our planet once every 90 minutes at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 kmph). Work started on it in 1998, and since 2000, humans have been continuously living in it.
Here is a video about RemoveDEBRIS.
Did you know?
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a Russian astronaut, became the first human being to travel into space.
Did you know?
1961 is an interesting year as it reads the same when it’s turned upside down. The next time we encounter a year that reads the same when it’s upside down is 6009.
Image Credits: https://www.surrey.ac.uk for the image of RemoveDEBRIS, https://www.nasa.gov for International Space Station’s image and the space debris image
Sources: https://www.surrey.ac.uk, NASA