While we engage ourselves in exploring green solutions to our various problems within the Earth’s atmosphere nothing much has been done about the trash that dangerously swirls in the space beyond. Such approach is a reflection of our egocentric attitude towards hygienic surroundings on a macro scale. We may spend hours cleaning our own home but would do practically nothing about the waste ditched by us on the street.
Giving a boot to that approach Canadian company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) are thinking of ways to help clear and reduce space junk that posing constant threat to us by spinning in earth’s orbit. The company is attempting to build a satellite fueling station in space to repair busted satellite while in orbit or to replenish the propellant supply that satellites use to keep on the proper course. Such a service could double, or even triple, the lives of satellites already flying, provided their on-board instruments are still working properly.
Such repair and maintenance promises to increase the life span of a satellite while at the same time reducing the need to replace satellites which failed or simply left abandoned as they ran out of fuel.
The project makes all the more sense when seen in the light if the fact that between 2012 and 2020, $36 billion more will have to be spent to replace the 136 satellites slated for decommissioning. MDA hopes to test the technology in space by 2013.