Service station in space? New project aims to turn space junk into fuel

As has been warned, space is becoming laden with garbage as a result of objects that the Earth has been sending over many years. In a global effort, an Australian company has rethought the usefulness of this waste and designed (almost) a space service station.

The company plans to recycle space waste, turning it into rocket fuel.


Sending objects to space that allow you to explore it more and more is always perceived in a very positive way. After all, in this way, it is possible to know what is beyond us, as well as guaranteeing a better quality of life here. However, and because “there is no beauty without a fail”, our planet’s orbit is becoming so saturated with garbage that the threat is evident and worrisome.

As we’ve seen here, space junk travels through space at exorbitant speeds, jeopardizing not only functioning satellites but also the International Space Station (ISS). objects, as well as for humans who are on the ISS.

If the waste generated by exploration was not enough, Russia fired a missile a few days ago that, in addition to destroying one of its satellites, according to the United States of America, also put the interests of many nations at risk.

International Space Station (ISS)

Space service station to supply rockets with recycled space waste

Faced with the growing problem of space debris, an Australian company has joined the global effort to stop it by recycling this hazardous waste.

Formerly an Australian company Neumann developed an electric propulsion system in space that can be used in low Earth orbit, in order to prolong the missions of spacecraft, and to move or de-orbit satellites. Now, Neumann is working on a project, together with three other companies, to turn space debris into fuel to be used in that propulsion system.

Although Neumann considered the project too futuristic, initially, after receiving a NASA grant, it developed a prototype that, surprisingly, worked.

Second Herve Astier, CEO of Neumann, it is possible to “grab a piece of space junk, cut it out, melt it and use the result”.

It’s like developing a service station in space.

These Herve Astier.

Illustration image of garbage in space orbiting the earth.  Roaming satellites and debris

Companies that are working together with Neumann will take care of the various stages of the process.

First, the Japanese company Astroscale will use satellites to capture pieces of space junk. Second, the American Nanoracks which is developing an advanced robotics plan to store and cut up the pieces of space junk while they are still in orbit. Finally, the also American Cislunar who is going to develop a space foundry to melt the pieces of space junk into metal bars.

Neumann continues to consider the project futuristic, but it knows and guarantees that it is now possible.

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Source: Pplware by pplware.sapo.pt.

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