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DSTL leads effort to de-orbit satellites
27 July 2017
CanX-7 is part of the Daedalus experiment, an effort led by scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to tackle space junk.
According to NASA, over 500,000 items are tracked as they orbit Earth, yet fewer than 5,000 are operational satellites. Travelling at speeds of up to 17,500mph, relatively small pieces of orbital debris can damage a satellite or a spacecraft.
DSTl says the most congested area sits in low Earth orbit (LEO) where collisions can cause further debris. If this problem is not addressed, space junk threatens to make space exploration and satellite launches impossible. It also poses a hazard to existing satellites, including those used by Britain's armed forces.
Image credit: Space sail - Efforts to tackle space debris are underway with an experiment to de-orbit CanX-7, a Canadian satellite that began a controlled descent using space sails in May, 2017.