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Space Tug

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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

How uniformly is space junk distributed in this volume?

I don't know.  It was a back-of-the-napkin sort of calculation I did (although I did mention where I got those numbers from, including the one I just made up at random) and to be completely honest part of me was just excited to do such a calculation again, after such a long time.

I haven't gotten the chance to really "chew on" the PDF you linked to as thoroughly as I'd like to.  I was surprised to hear that there have already been a few orbital collisions (which really shouldn't happen if my math was correct).

 

I'm not surprised that NASA thinks this is a big problem that needs immediate action; they've been trying to justify their continued existence in whatever ways they can ever since we landed on the moon.  Still, I haven't gotten a chance to look into it more deeply yet, and although they are struggling to find reasons why we should keep funding them I'd be very loathe to call anyone at NASA a liar.  You don't get into that organization without fully mastering several intellectual virtues simultaneously.

 

So I'll be very interested in seeing how it shakes out from there.

 

Thank you!

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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On 2/26/2021 at 5:24 PM, TommyJo said:

 

Does humanity need space tugs? How difficult is it to design a device that can remove space debris from orbit? What calculations might you need? Are there any prototypes that are already working?

Judging by the fact that there's no effective technology that proved its effectiveness in practice, it's rather difficult to design such a device. All governments and agencies understand the importance of this problem, so I think they'd implement a device to clean up LEO a long ago. I know that the main function of a space tug is to carry payloads to different orbits, and I haven't heard that it can be used for removing space debris. If it really works, why not use it?

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On 3/4/2021 at 8:45 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Excellent.

 

I personally think the next best step in the development of space industry would be asteroid mining.  There are quite a few technical hurdles that'd have to be worked out, but whoever successfully does so will stand to make exactly the mind-boggling quantities of profit that would be necessary for any kind of terraforming project.

 I think we can only dream about asteroid mining, and at most, describe it in sci-fi books and movies. Do you imagine how much money this technology needs? Moreover, we don't have the technology to get so close to asteroids and collect materials from them. It may sound good, but we need to investigate closer planets at first.

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