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The RemoveDebris ADR Mission: Preparing for an International Space Station Launch


Since the beginning of the space era, a significant amount of debris has progressively been generated in space. Active Debris Removal (ADR) missions have been suggested as a way of limiting and controlling future growth in orbital space debris by actively sending up vehicles to remove debris. The EC FP7 RemoveDebris mission, which started in 2013, draws on the expertise of some of Europe's most prominent space institutions in order to demonstrate key ADR technologies in a low-cost ambitious manner. The RemoveDebris mission launches to the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2017 where shortly after it will be deployed via the NanoRacks Kaber system into an orbit of around 400 km. The mission will perform its core demonstrations sequentially, utilising two CubeSats as artificial debris targets: net capture, harpoon capture, vision-based navigation , dragsail de-orbiting. The mission comes to an end in 2018 with all space entities having naturally de-orbited. This paper is split into the following parts: (a) an overview of the mission segments, (b) a discussion on launch procedures, (c) an overview of the operations sequence and demonstration timelines. The second section will focus on the specifics of the launch via NanoRacks and respective the NASA safety reviews. The third section will outline the planned operational timelines for the payloads. There will be a focus on what demonstrations will be performed and what types of data will be collected. The RemoveDebris mission aims to be one of the world's first in-orbit demonstrations of key technologies for active debris removal and is a vital prerequisite to achieving the ultimate goal of a cleaner Earth orbital environment.
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hal-01576084 , version 1 (22-08-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01576084 , version 1


Jason L. Forshaw, Guglielmo S. Aglietti, Thierry Salmon, Ingo Retat, Christopher Burgess, et al.. The RemoveDebris ADR Mission: Preparing for an International Space Station Launch. 7th European Conference on Space Debris, Apr 2017, Darmstadt, Germany. ⟨hal-01576084⟩
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