Experiment to clean debris from orbit has begun
In December, 2016, Japan launched into orbit space junk collector, and a few days ago all the preparations and the spacecraft Kounotori-6 undocked from the ISS to begin the first-ever experiment in "cleaning" of debris earth orbit have been completed.
The ship Kounotori-6, or as it is called, HTV-6 is the sixth expedition of cargo delivery to the ISS (hence the number 6 in the title). Arriving at the station with nearly five tons of cargo in December 2016, the HTV-6 was docked with the station for more than 7 weeks, during which it was carried out unloading and preparation for the mission to orbit cleaning. undocking procedure HTV-6 from the ISS was made on January 27 and spent her Specialist Shane Kimbrough NASA and the European Space Agency Flight Engineer Thomas Pesket. Astronauts during the ship undocking procedure used Canadarm2 robotic arm, and the process is controlled from the Cupola module, which is equipped with a sufficiently large porthole.
Space selfie astronaut Shane Kimbrough and HTV-6 Thomas Pesketa on background
The spacecraft HTV-6 will in space even for a week, engaging in conduct experiments Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiment (KITE), during which will be tested a new technology of cleaning debris and clearing the Earth's orbit. During the test HTV-6 release a 700-meter electrodynamic "cable", which will attract the different fragments, and larger parts in motion HTV-6 will have an impact, sliding them in the direction of Earth. The distance separating the ISS and HTV-6 will be 19 kilometers by 37 kilometers horizontally and vertically, which will protect against accidental contact with the ISS debris. February 4, 2017 HTV-6 will go towards the Earth, taking away the "tail" of space debris. Upon entering into the atmosphere, HTV-6 with a "tail" burn and unburned debris will fall into the Pacific Ocean.