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Swiss Engineers Plan “Space Janitor” to Clean Up Space Junk

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Featured on Episode of the 2011-2012 season


Even though our shuttles are no longer heading to space, there is still a ton of junk up there, and Swiss engineers would like to clean it up. NASA says more than half a million pieces of debris are circling the planet, including old satellites. Swiss engineers are developing a small satellite called CleanSpace One to do the job. It would grab space junk and pull it back towards earth, where both would burn up during re-entry.

Related Instructional Resources

PBS NewsHour Extra for Teachers: Swiss Create ‘Janitor’ Satellite to Clean Up Space Junk (pictures, video, links and activities)
Cleaning up Earth's orbit: A Swiss satellite tackles space debris
CNN: Short Video
Tree Hugger: Self-Destructing Janitor Satellite to Clean Up Space The Expanding Danger of Space Junk (video)

Classroom Activities

Science, math. Classroom lessons and activities for grades four to twelve about space junk, meteoroids and comets, and the CleanSpace One satellite.

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