A model of the NEO-01 was displayed at the Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, southern China. Photo: Cao Siqi/GT
A model of a robotic platform launched into low-Earth orbit by a Chinese space-mining startup debuted at Air Show China, garnering widespread attention from space fans for its wild vision of how to lead the world in space debris removal technology. , paving the way for technologies capable of mining on asteroids.
Developed by Nanjing-based Origin Space Technology Co., NEO-01 claims to be the first Chinese company dedicated to the exploration and utilization of space resources, and is the first of its kind in deep space for space debris removal and asteroid mining experiments. It was launched on a Long March 6 rocket. April 2021.
The Global Times learned from the company at the air show that the robot prototype has completed the experiment of capturing space debris with a large net and the relative technical verification of the key steps. It is the first commercial company in the world to complete such an experiment. .
“In the future, the NEO series of satellites will remove space debris by dragging it out of orbit and burning it in the atmosphere, allowing it to accurately capture space debris that could pose a threat to spacecraft and other targets. We can keep our space facilities safe,” Su Meng, founder and CEO of Origin Space, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Since the establishment of the world’s first asteroid mining company, Planetary Resources, in 2009, more than a dozen companies around the world have entered the field.
Space debris, space junk, and other debris debris left in orbit that is no longer controlled poses a significant threat to ordinary spacecraft. Data show that nearly 80% of cataloged objects in orbit are space debris, and the number of uncontrolled space objects is staggeringly high.
The vastness of space is no longer quiet, space traffic becomes hectic, and space junk leads to “space car crashes.” Su says removing space debris is an urgent task.
Su says there will likely be more than 50,000 satellites in orbit by 2025, making the amount of space junk 10 times what it is today. Su vows to make her company the world’s leading company with the ability to remove space debris.
On June 22, 2021, Origin Space launched the commercial space telescope Yangwang-1 into orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, northern China.
A model of the commercial space telescope Yangwang-1 Photo: Cao Siqi/GT
During its stay in orbit, Yangwang-1 made observations of astronomy, asteroids, and space debris.