[amsat-bb] Re: Future Possibilities For Automated Transfer Vehicle Technologies

B J va6bmj at gmail.com
Sat Jun 23 14:02:44 PDT 2012


> Hi all & thanks Bernard,

You're welcome.

> If you follow up the report in view of the costs and other  factors.  One
> of the options for an ATV future was for a use of  recovery of  debris and
> satellites.
> Whilst the cost may be considerably high for such a development, I thought
> that it would be very interesting
> and a positive step forward for study of failure and ageing factors of  on
> board equipment etc. (Batteries ??)
> Also of course the objective of  clearing up and reducing hazards of
> possible impact or pollution.
> Wonder on your thoughts on viewing this aspect as a effective application
> of use of " Space Budgets"


Orbital debris has long been of concern and several methods of dealing
with it have been proposed in recent years.

Larger objects can, for the most part, be avoided as they are tracked.
 Some of them are spacecraft that reached the end of their operational
lives and could still be useful if they could be refurbished.  That
could be a possible source of revenue for a salvage firm, provided
that those inactive spacecraft could be made safe prior to being
brought back.  (One space shuttle mission showed this was possible.)
Others could be removed from orbit if they were put into, say, a
trajectory which would eventually cause them to re-enter and burn up.

Tasks like that could be something that a successor to the ATV might
be suited for.  Perhaps such a spacecraft could be developed by a
private company with backing from a government space agency.

Smaller pieces, such as paint chips, won't be so easy to remove.  I
remember reading of one proposal that deployed a fine-mesh net which
would catch them.  Maybe an ATV successor might not be the best
spacecraft for that as precise maneuvering probably wouldn't be


Bernhard VA6BMJ @ DO33FL

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