PROBA is a space program managed by ESA for the in-orbit demonstration of platform and payload [+]
Mission e.Deorbit, phase B1
- Start date:
After decades of launches Earth is surrounded by a halo of space junk of more than 17 000 trackable objects, which threaten working missions with possible collision. The only way to control the debris population across key low orbits is to remove large items such as derelict satellites and launcher upper stages.
Such uncontrolled multi-tonne items besides of being collision risks can also explode due to leftover fuel or partially charged batteries heated up by orbital sunlight.
The e.Deorbit mission objective is to “Remove a single ESA-owned Space Debris from LEO protected zone” (in this case Envisat, on the picture). The mission consists of a satellite (chaser) that is launched by a small or medium launcher. It performs a rendezvous with ESA-owned debris (target) and captures and removes the target from LEO protected zone by means of de-orbiting into the atmosphere. Main technical challenge of the mission is how to capture a massive, drifting object left in an uncertain state, which may well be tumbling rapidly.
The objective of this phase B1 study is the definition of the e.Deorbit implementation baseline in order to define its technical specification and interfaces as well as to assess the preliminary verifi cation plan in line with the applicable ECSS standards.
The main role of SENER in Poland in the study is related to the interface definition for rigid capture and analysis and design of the clamping mechanism.
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