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>> The world is surrounded by garbage, much of it old bits of rocket or disused satellites, all the debris caused by junk colliding. It's a problem we ignore at our peril, according to the team at Surrey Space Center. They're preparing for the launch of RemoveDEBRIS, a testbed of low-cost methods of picking up litter in space.
>> Since the dawn of the space age we've been launching things into space, and a lot of it hasn't come back down, so it's accumulating in space. So the aim of our mission, RemoveDEBRIS, is to actually go up there and test something called active debris removal. It's the concept of testing technology, such as a net or a harpoon, to try and capture some of this space junk and bring it back down to Earth.
>> RemoveDebris will deploy its own artificial space junk, a so-called cube set, and then try to recover it in a net. A target will also test our ability to harpoon pieces of junk and then reel them in. Solutions that could help keep satellites safe and the services they provide.
>> I think people don't realize how much people use satellites for your mobile phones, your internet, all your communications, your GPS. Financial transactions, weather monitoring, Earth observation, disaster monitoring, virtually everything you can think of uses a satellite in some form these days. And these are services that are at risk in the future, if we don't take this issue of space sustainability seriously.
>> RemoveDEBRIS is due for launch in January next year.