Could a Net and a Harpoon Cleanup Space Junk?
The Chinese space station Tiangong 1’s recent fall to Earth, in an unguided re-entry, has raised discussion again on how to address the nagging problem of space junk or orbital debris circling our planet. The website for NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office indicates that more than 21,000 orbital debris, larger than 10 cm, are known […]
Space Junk Jeopardizes Earth’s Space Environment
Scientists estimate that there are some 750,000 pieces of space junk circling Earth, millions more if you count fragments smaller than 1 centimeter. Think about it: Mankind has sent thousands of rockets into space since the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957. While a number of space vehicles are still in active […]
Robotic Arm Has Split-Second Timing
Swiss scientists have developed a robotic arm that can catch items thrown at it with split-second accuracy. Researchers say the new invention, described in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, catches various sized objects within 5/100 of a second. The mechanized arm has three joints, a complex and sophisticated hand with four fingers, and measures about 1.5 […]