Orbital Debris Cleanup


Orbital Debris Cleanup

$1 MILLION (Prize amount to be confirmed. Announcement expected for next year)

Space debris (also known as space junk, space pollution, space waste, space trash, or space garbage) is a term for defunct human made objects in space-principally in Earth orbit-which no longer serve a useful function. These include derelict spacecraft nonfunctional spacecraft and abandoned launch vehicle stages mission-related debris, and particularly numerous in Earth orbit, fragmentation debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies and spacecraft.

In addition to derelict human-built objects left in orbit, other examples of space debris include fragments from their disintegration, erosion and collisions, or even paint flecks, solidified liquids expelled from spacecraft, and unburned particles from solid rocket motors. Space debris represents a risk to spacecraft since even microscopical particles , traveling at such high speed, can create serious damages by impacting with active space vehicles and even mortal if impacting with astronauts , protected only by a spacesuit.

As of January 2019, more than 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), about 900,000 pieces of debris 1–10 cm, and around 34,000 of pieces larger than 10 cm were estimated to be in orbit around the Earth.

For the above reasons we have to eliminate such challenge, getting rido f the existing debris and minimize future threats with new policies and design features that would minimize the problem.


The solution can include:

This competition calls for solution to both problems:

-The collection of existing space debris and their disposal or reutilization under controlled conditions

-Design strategies to minimize debris production for future space vehicles.


The proposals must be in writing maximum 40 pages including images, charts and diagrams.

If feasible a demonstration prototype could be tested in a second phase of the competition.