New China Robot Catches Space Debris
New Robot Capable of Catching "A Speeding Bullet" in Space
Source: Origin Space's NEO-1
Leading to New Technologies For Mining Asteroids
There are more than 500,000 pieces of space debris hurtling through space. They all travel at 17,500 mph and even a small piece can damage or destroy a satellite or spacecraft. Now, a China space mining company Origin Space has launched a robot prototype that is capable of catching space debris with a large net. The technology is the equivalent of catching a speeding bullet. The 30 kg robot is called NEO-1. Origin Space says the robot is also designed to lead the way for the development of future asteroid mining technologies. NEO-1's current mission also includes searching deep space for small celestial objects.
Collecting Space Junk
NEO-1 will use a large net to capture space junk and then burn the debris with its electric propulsion system. Using NEO-1 as a technological prototype for asteroid mining duties, Origin Space plans to start commercial mining of asteroids by 2045. A dozen other companies around the world have the same aspirations. Origin Space is a leading Chinese startup and is part of China's goal to be a major space power, rivalling both the US and Russia, by 2030.
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