Sep 2, 2021

Sail away: Rocket launch to test simple solution for space junk

Posted by in category: space

Engineers are set to test a device that could pull defunct spacecraft and used rocket parts back to Earth, allowing them to burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.

Researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, are launching a prototype drag sail Thursday aboard a rocket made by Firefly Aerospace, a private space company based in Austin, Texas. The mission is designed to assess how well the kitelike sail can de-orbit the rocket’s spent upper stage.

The launch is scheduled to take place at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. PT.

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