SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft could one day chomp and clean up space debris, claimed Elon Musk in a post on Twitter.
This statement was in response to a question by a Twitter user @REQNews who asked him if SpaceX had thought about some kind of tech to clear out the space junk that currently floats in Earth’s orbit.
Yes, we can fly Starship around space & chomp up debris with the moving fairing door
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2021
The person tweeted, responding to Musk’s original post of an image of Starlink cover showing transfer orbit from Earth to Mars, “Hey Elon outside of Starlink which you changed orbit to lessen the impact (Kessler syndrome), has SpaceX thought of any way to try to eventually collect Space debris? since it could directly affect its business in the future if it gets out of control.”
Responding to this, Elon Musk tweeted stating, “Yes, we can fly Starship around space & chomp up debris with the moving fairing door.”
In case you were wondering if this can really happen, something similar was stated by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, in a conversation with Time Magazine (highlighted by Business Insider) in October last year where she revealed that Starship possesses the ability to store the trash in its cargo bay and bring it back to Earth. Shotwell, at the time, claimed that even though it won’t be easy to execute, it offers the possibility of doing that.
This surely is a good sign considering thousands of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could contribute to this with thousands more to be added (around 42,000) in the near future by the end of the year 2027.
Starship is the mega-rocket system by SpaceX that could be the answer for Elon Musk’s Martian endeavours. SpaceX recently completed testing of its 16-storey spaceship — the SN15 in May and it’s now working on the 23-storey booster design to blast the rocket system into orbit.
Shotwell, while talking to the press in June revealed that SpaceX is aiming to launch the first Starship rocket in July and is expected to take 90 minutes to fly around Earth from Texas to Hawaii.
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