China’s new strategy to reduce debris in space

China has decided to reduce the amount of space waste, introducing a new concept “sail path”.

The goal of this concept is to reduce the new misery of space conquest: space debris. The goal is to quickly remove the remaining debris in orbit, as it can take decades for it to disappear. A period where dangerous collisions can multiply.

A test was conducted on 4 July, where a blanket weighing about 300 kg was fitted with a veil with a load adapter. This 25 m2 blanket will lose height by 2024, and thus allow this piece of rocket to be absorbed.

Attached to the wreckage of the rocket, the sail increases the surface of the craft, which increases the atmospheric friction and thus accelerates the process of re-entry of the device into the atmosphere.

Thus, reducing the time spent in orbit reduces the risk of collisions. On June 24, China sent three satellites into orbit from the center of Jichang. On June 24, he presented as part of an additional mission, this landing craft from the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST).

After successfully completing its first space debris clean-up mission in early 2022, China is experimenting with these “Float line” The results are good. During this first mission, the Chinese first brought down an old satellite that was in orbit.

The object was absorbed and isolated in the atmosphere. So far, its mission “Clear” Space waste consists only of testing equipment.

L.n October 24, 2021, China launches Shijian-21, a “Satellite capable of handling orbital debris”. According to SpaceNews, Beidou-2 went to the satellite on the G2 before docking with the Shijian-21 structure.

According to American authorities, Shijian-21 will next pull the satellite’s “corpse” on January 22, 2022, about 3000 kilometers above the geosynchronous orbit. Finally, the Shijian-21 unloaded from Beidou-2 G2 on January 26 before returning to its geosynchronous orbital position, according to tracking data recently released by the 18th Space Control Squadron (SPCS). From now on, the old Beidou-2 satellite, which has not been in operation for more than ten years, no longer represents any danger.

In early 2022, China blamed its space station and the European space agency Elon Musk. “Possession” In a note sent to the UN, China informed the Secretary-General of the incident “The Chinese have created a danger to the lives or health of astronauts on the space station.”

Read more: Spatial conflict between Elon Musk and China

Referring to Article V of the UN Convention and Policy on Space, China said that “States Parties to the Agreement shall immediately notify the other States Parties of the Agreement or the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any incidents discovered by them, including the moon and celestial bodies, which may endanger the life or health of the astronauts.”

Especially since China has completed five launch missions in 2021 by successfully orbiting Shenzhou-XII and Shenzhou-XIII with crew as well as cargo ships of Tianhe Core Module, Tianzhou-II and Tianzhou-III of the Chinese space station.

Gold According to Chinese authorities, two Starlink satellites have come very close to the Chinese space station. “For security reasons, China space station has implemented preventive controls to avoid collisions on July 1 and October 21, 2021”The Chinese wrote in their notes.

Although China’s approach has given way to political rather than scientific goals, Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has assured that scientists “The number of collision risks has increased since the Starlink installation began

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