With pieces of a Chinese satellite posing a serious threat to the space station , NASA has launched the Fred G. Sanford space junk collection probe. The newly designed unmanned spacecraft is designed to collect floating space junk. “This probe has a robotic arm and is able to collect 25,000 square feet of junk,” said Grady Wilson, operations director of the project. “With the Sanford Probe, we have the ability to do a first rate job in collecting the space clutter floating around in Earth’s orbit,” he added. “If this is as successful as we think it’s going to be, we plan on working on an updated model with a collecting arm and a second, magnetic arm.” “The second collector is tentatively called, “The Lamont.”
It’s expected that the probe will bring the collected junk back to Earth for disposal at NASA’s Watts disposal facility.