The U.S., Russia and China are the three big space powers that have polluted Earth’s orbit with 93 percent of all space debris. Now, cleaning up dead satellites and other correlated space junk has gone easier said than done. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), however, is planning to create the Electrodynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) to scoop up the satellites. EDDE will be a huge garbage cleaner with 200 nets, like butterfly nets, and will collect garbage in low-earth orbit.
The EDDE will either fling the garbage into the South Pacific or deliver the objects closer to Earth where it will keep orbiting and will eventually decay. Another option includes reusing space debris to build a variety of useful structures, like future space stations or satellites. The creators believe that the contraption could serve a sinister purpose, i.e. removing a working satellite from orbit. With a text flight planned for 2013, a whole fleet of EDDEs could be seen carrying out space debris cleanup by 2017.