Since 1957, there has been two satellite-on-satellite collisions between a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite and an Iridium satellite and the recent collision between a piece of orbital debris from a Russian Zenit-2 launch vehicle and the Yunhai 1-02 Chinese satellite. Yet the entire industry wants to spend tens of billions of dollars to lasso, harpoon, net, etc. large orbital debris. These approaches can create new, smaller debris. With Launchspace’s space-based sensor constellation, enhanced space domain awareness and space traffic management are possible. Therefore, when a large RSO is detected and tracked, a conjunction warning to a customer would result in them performing a small delta-v maneuver to move their satellite out of harm’s way.
Launchspace’s approach is to use space-based sensors to detect and track orbital debris which is smaller than currently possible from ground-based solutions, with higher precision, have customers maneuver away from large debris and use large debris impact pads (DIPs) orbiting in equatorial LEO to remove small orbital debris that threatens our customers. Our solution works because all RSOs, including orbital debris, cross the equator about once every 50 minutes in low Earth orbit (LEO). Our orbital debris impact pads will capture the small orbital debris for customers as it crosses the equator while avoiding active satellites.
Launchspace has multiple patents for orbital debris removal and spacecraft maneuverability.
It is the small orbital debris that is hard to detect and track, that can damage or destroy spacecraft or block whole regions of LEO from an impending chain reaction called the Kessler Effect.