Pre-launch photo of RemoveDEBRIS satellite.
Credit: SSC/Max Alexander

NanoRacks successfully deployed the RemoveDEBRIS satellite today from the International Space Station.

Deployment made use of the company’s commercially developed Kaber Microsatellite Deployer. RemoveDEBRIS is the largest satellite to ever be deployed from the ISS – designed, built and manufactured by a consortium of leading space companies and research institutions, led by the Surrey Space Center at the University of Surrey and funded in part by the European Union Seventh Framework Program.

Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

Onboard the ISS, crewmember readies RemoveDEBRIS for launch from the orbiting facility.
Credit: NASA/NanoRacks

Four experiments

The RemoveDEBRIS mission will perform four experiments, which will be tested on two CubeSats to-be-deployed from the larger satellite, acting as artificial targets.

Credit: Surrey Space Centre (SSC)

These experiments include both the first harpoon capture in orbit and a net that will be used on a deployed target. The team will also test a vision-based navigation system that uses cameras and LiDaR technology to observe CubeSats that will be released from the main spacecraft.

Airlocked and loaded!
Credit: NASA/NanoRacks

Lastly, the RemoveDEBRIS craft will deploy a large drag sail that will cause the orbit of the spacecraft to rapidly decay until making a destructive plunge into the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video

RemoveDEBRIS was launched to the Space Station via NanoRacks on the 14th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission in early April.

For a video on this creative mission, go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=_QUhCLTfXf0

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