Japan Space Agency’s experimental mission to clear up the junk in space failed miserably; built an electrodynamic ‘tether’ for the mission
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took an ambitious mission to clear up the space junk from Earth’s orbit. But the mission has failed miserably, leaving the agency in an embarrassment. According to experts more than 100 million pieces of garbage are whizzing around the planet that could become a potential threat for the future space missions and also the live satellites as well.
The JAXA was trying to test an electrodynamic ‘tether’, which was built with the help of a fishing net manufacturer. The aim of the mission was to slow down the orbiting space junk that have been created in last five decades of human expeditions to space. This device was also supposed to bring the rubbish down to lower orbit so that they can burn down before getting crashed to earth’s surface.
The tether was 700 meter long and it was built from thin wires of stainless steel and aluminum. It was deployed through a spaceship that was carrying the supplies for astronauts at the International Space Station. The device had only one week to carry out the mission. But as it seems, the device was not released to grab the space junks, which ultimately resulted in failing the mission.
Adding salt to the wound, JAXA failed to launch a mini rocket to launch a satellite into the orbit. Also, the Japanese agency abandoned a precious ultra-high-tech satellite that was launched just one year ago to search for the X-rays coming from black holes and galaxy clusters. The agency lost contact with the spacecraft, which led JAXA to abandon the satellite.
As American space research agency NASA estimates, there are around 5 lakh pieces of debris scattered in Earth’s orbit. These are larger than half an inch and pose serious threat to more than 780 satellites located in the lower orbit and also the International Space Station as well.