Space

Japan’s magnetic tether fails to clear space garbage; Safety of Earth and ISS at risk

JAXA launches magnetic tether to clear space garbage revolving Earth

This is a third time in a year that the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is facing its performance failure, and this time it is related to high-tech, junk-grabbing tether that is showing now non-functionality issues from the cargo ship in space.

Japan space agency made an important observation on the astronomy garbage those are deteriorating solar orbit since very long and to eradicate the same, the team developed a tether that will firmly hold as much garbage as possible and will burn them safely in the space.

To facilitate the same, scientists put the tether inside a cargo ship last month that supposed to provide supplies to the astronauts abroad but now JAXA believes that something has gone wrong and the tether might not have deployed at all. So, the entire mission of cleaning the space trash is now on a halt.

The spacecraft was made in collaboration with a 106-year-old fishing net company and contains a magnetic tether to move space chunk out of orbit. It is to be noticed that Nitto Seimo Co. is the same company that invented the knotless net machine within first 15 years journey.

“The tether uses our fishnet plaiting technology, but it was really tough to intertwine the very thin materials,” said company engineer Katsuya Suzuki.”The length of the tether this time is 700 meters (2,300 feet), but eventually it’s going to need to be 5,000 to 10,000 meters (16,400 to 32,800 feet) long to slow down the targeted space junk.”

This Japanese tether has been made with combination wires of aluminum and stainless steel. The material has been taken from a company that manufactures fishing net. With a broad dimension of 2,300 feet, the tether was supposed to collect debris from space on its way to return to earth by a cargo ship after providing the necessary deliverables to the astronauts but some malfunctioning has triggered the doubt that the tether might not have been able to get out of mother cargo ship at all. One of the senior team leaders told media that, the team is working hard to make it work again before the re-entry of the ship into space, which has a schedule on this coming Saturday.

This is not the first time that JAXA is experiencing the performance failure. Last year, the company faced a similar situation by losing contact with a month old launched $270 million satellite and the landing of a rocket into the ocean due to its failure to reach orbit.

In order show how much space pollution we humans have created, Stuart Grey, a scientist and lecturer at the University College London, has made a video which compares the amount of space debris present in 1957 with space chunks in 2015. It was 1957 when Russians launched the Sputnik satellite and released first of the man-made chunk in space. Since then there has been tremendous increase in the numbers and now these numbers have grown so much that they are threatening space projects and more importantly mankind itself.

Every white dot in the video represents a space debris released during space missions. Agencies have started proposing ideas to clear up space chunk before things quickly get out of hand. Moreover, reusable rocket can significantly reduce the number as these satellites do not leave chunks behind.

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