Hello and welcome back! Our last post dived deep into our design detail, where we introduced ORRUS, our satellite collection system. While our design and concept have relatively stayed the same, we’ve had a few minor changes in the details, including the introduction of an International Coalition between space programs to support the project.


Design Freeze:

While ORRUS remains the solution to tackle the growing concern of space debris and with our “users” meant to be governments and satellite companies, its form has changed slightly. ORRUS now consists of a satellite, which has disassembling and tracking capabilities, in the centre of a perimeter ring truss-shaped collection bag, which stores the discard. We aim to first tackle the numerous defunct CubeSats, which have a short life span of 1-2 years. ORRUS is capable of tracking & capturing these CubeSats and disassembling them to separate the aluminium frame from other metals. These are stored in a bag, which will later be collected by a bag collection and storage system. It collects the ORRUS debris bags and brings them to one central location, where a power plant processes the materials from the ORRUS debris harvester. This power plant is a part of the shared public space infrastructure and is funded and maintained by members of the ISCP, which also aims to enable new methods of satellite manufacturing and maintenance.

The other function of ORRUS is to monitor and report data, which includes building a comprehensive database of the collected CubeSats, and information such as the type of material, size, mass, etc. to help with research in the established space industry. Our data will also be used in the “Orbitarium”, the visualisation aspect of our solution, which aims to provide digestible data to the public to raise awareness about the growing concern about space debris. An installation on Earth visualises the past and predicts the amount of debris in Earth’s LEO orbit, for the public to see. The goal is to raise awareness about space sustainability and how data usage affects it.

So, ORRUS has 3 system components – Debris collection, Data reporting, and Data visualisation. However, how do we plan to fund such an extensive operation?

An International Coalition

Before ORRUS is even launched, we propose the formation of an international coalition with space programs around the world, called the International Coalition of Space Programs, which is driven by the realisation that Earth’s orbit is a finite resource that requires equitable distribution and hence access to it needs to be regulated. The first task of the coalition is to propose a law that ensures equal launch rights to every country in the world. So, each country would receive an equal number of launches per year. There will be a free market, where the countries can trade launches for money. This way, developing countries that don’t use their launches can get funding for their space program. The goal is to create a more level playing field and more equitable access to space for all. Each launch transfer comes with a fee that goes towards funding the debris cleaning and collection mission. The coalition also regulates the collection of satellites through separate laws, since some of them have sensitive data and patented technologies inside them. If a satellite company has not communicated with its satellite in more than 6 months, it is deemed as public property and can be collected.


Implementation Roadmap