Engineer studies net-shooting robots that corral space debris

Published August 18, 2021


An article in features the research and grant of Eleonora Botta, who studies how to prevent space debris from crashing into each other or from falling uncontrollably down to Earth.

“An assistant professor of aerospace engineering, she was recently awarded a $175,000 National Science Foundation to examine how to best utilize robot tether systems to corral some of the 27,000 pieces of debris that NASA tracks,” according to the article.

“The idea is that, after a piece of space debris is captured, it is tugged to a disposal orbit by the active spacecraft where the tether is deployed from,” says Botta. “For objects in low-Earth-orbit, the disposal orbit would be such that the capture piece of debris would re-enter and burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Read the story here.