Space Debris started accumulating around the earth since the first man-made object was launched into space.
And ever since, it has only grown to make matters worse with 100s of thousands of space junk (dead satellites, tiny pieces of metals, etc) just floating around the earth, clogging the clear space of orbit, posing a serious threat to space missions.
There are now more than 100 million pieces of debris that are the size of a gumball or more (up to 0.4 inches or 1 cm and more) traveling up to 17,500 mph which is significantly more than enough velocity to inflict serious damage to satellites or spacecraft. Countries are now looking for ways to tackle this serious problem.
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China recently launched a military satellite aimed at testing its “Space debris mitigation technology,” according to China’s state media reports.
Footage from CCTV (China Central Television) showed the liftoff of the rocket – Long March 3B, against a calm green background of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China at 9:27 p.m EDT, October 23rd. Long March 3B carried China’s latest military satellite called Shijian-21 having its “space debris mitigation technology” to test it on tackling the space debris problem, according to China’s State media reports.
This launch marks the 393rd flight of the Long March rocket series.
Although the complete report of this space mission wasn’t available, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation stated that this “space debris mitigation technology” testing mission launch was a “complete success” as the satellite reached its designated orbit.
However, a SpaceNews report suggested that Shijian-21 was put in the geosynchronous orbit. No further details on the mission were revealed by Chinese media.
The mission was launched while the world was thinking of ways to tackle the Space Debris problem.
According to a report in August, one of the Chinese satellites was damaged by a small piece of an old Russian rocket.
But China has been under heated talks of its space-related actions, NASA officials blame that China deliberately let the uncontrolled fall of a massive rocket to earth that fell over the Indian ocean.
SpaceNews noted that “since space debris mitigation technologies are dual-use,” they can be used for both civilian and military purposes.