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Satellite Service Stations Could Minimize Space Junk

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On July 20, 2010 @ 2:06 pm In green technology | 3 Comments

sustainable design, satellite service station, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, mda, satellites, space junk, green design [1]Image by the European Space Agency [2]

We’ve done a bang-up job of polluting both Earth and outer space [3] in the past few decades. Space junk, at least, could be reduced significantly if satellites didn’t die out so quickly. Enter MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates [4] (MDA), a Canadian company that wants to build a space-bound satellite [5] fueling and service station.

sustainable design, satellite service station, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, mda, satellites, space junk, green design [6]

Here’s how the station would work: after being launched in space, it would dock to existing satellites [7] (note: satellites travel at 7,000 miles per hour), fix them up, and fill them [8] with hydrazine. The process could potentially double or triple the lifespan of satellites if all the onboard equipment remains intact.

MDA hopes to have a prototype ready in 2013 — just in time to help out the 136 satellites [9] scheduled for decommissioning between 2012 and 2020.

+ MDA Corporation [4]

Via Popular Science [10]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/satellite-service-stations-could-minimize-space-junk/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/07/spacejunk-ed01.jpg

[2] European Space Agency: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESOC/SEMN2VM5NDF_mg_1.html

[3] space: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/26/futuristic-space-station-made-from-reclaimed-doors/&sa=X&ei=z79FTJeXCI6-sQOZ28HhAg&ved=0CBYQzgQoATAA&usg=AFQjCNG6Ec-ewV6kCPds9DXK2ZV1GaTQAA

[4] MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates: http://www.mdacorporation.com/

[5] satellite: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/04/nasa-to-launch-new-weather-satellite-in-space/&sa=X&ei=379FTPD0JoSCsQOWuZ3OAg&ved=0CBsQzgQoADAA&usg=AFQjCNE9FfcUj1gTmOVgO-WtX9QEXLVydQ

[6] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/20/satellite-service-stations-could-minimize-space-junk/satellite/

[7] satellites: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://inhabitat.com/2010/05/05/tiny-proba-v-satellite-will-track-global-vegetation-levels/&sa=X&ei=379FTPD0JoSCsQOWuZ3OAg&ved=0CBwQzgQoATAA&usg=AFQjCNGOsNf-EP6SB6ppyhP7rrSihhfcow

[8] fill them: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/11/10/solar-sailing-satellite-to-thumb-a-ride-from-the-sun-in-2010/

[9] satellites: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/11/02/satellite-makes-near-real-time-predictions-of-floods-and-droughts/

[10] Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-07/fill-er-canadian-company-wants-build-satellite-service-station-space

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