As plans proliferate to launch thousands of new satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) for daily Earth-observation updates and broadband data links, so do the clouds of hypersonic debris that threaten to form an impenetrable barrier to future space operations. To mitigate the danger to the growing off-planet economic infrastructure, engineers on three continents are working on different concepts to clean up the orbital pathways. The problem is similar to halting the growth of  carbon ...

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