Space

SpaceX to carry NASA Space Debris Sensor that will clear space debris near ISS

ISS NASA

NASA is ready to launch a sensor that will cover space debris around the ISS, which could help decrease the risk to human life. The one square meter Space Debris Sensor (SDS) will fly on a SpaceX cargo mission on 4 December and will be mounted on the surface of the station. The US space agency said that this sensor utilizes dual-layer thin films, an acoustic sensor system, a resistive grid sensor system and a sensor backstop to provide near-real-time result detection and recording. Analysis of this investigation could help lower the risk to human life and crucial hardware by orbital debris.

Space debris encompasses both natural (meteor) and artificial (human-made) particles. Meteorites are in orbit about the sun, while maximum artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth. Therefore, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris. Orbital debris is any human-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function.

Such waste includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris. There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris more significant than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small part of orbital debris to destroy a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of the marble or more substantial. There are many millions of parts of debris that are so small they can’t be traced.

US-based aerospace corporation SpaceX will launch its Dragon spacecraft into orbit for its 13th commercial resupply mission. The shuttle will lift into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US bearing crew supplies, equipment and scientific study to crew members living and serving aboard the station.

Another research will try to pull fibre optic wire from ZBLAN; a large metal fluoride glass usually used to make fibre optic glass. When ZBLAN is solidified on Earth, its atomic structure tends to form into crystals. Investigation shows that ZBLAN fibre pulled in microgravity may not crystalise as much, giving it better optical properties than the silica applied in most fibre optic wire.

The outcomes from this research could lead to the generation of higher-quality fibre optic products both in space and on Earth. According to the Nasa, one more study to be sent to the ISS is the Rodent Research-6 examination. It will investigate a drug compound and drug delivery system intended to combat muscular breakdown in space or other times of disuse.

The embedded drug delivery chip will administer a compound expected to maintain muscle in a variety of disuse situations, including microgravity. The results from the RR-6 investigations will help scientists to know how to manage a healthy body structure in the deficiency of gravity. It will also enhance our understanding of muscle-related diseases, disorders and injuries.

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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