The RemoveDEBRIS satellite consists of a large, 220-pound main satellite that carries two smaller cubesats and a net. The mission involves deploying these cubesats as artificial space junk and them capturing them to demonstrate the effectiveness debris removal technology. The first cubesat was successfully captured on Sunday evening with a net after six years of testing the technology on Earth.
The activity reaches its peak intensity around perihelion and in the weeks that follow – and is clearly visible in the spectacular images returned by the spacecraft in the last months. One image taken by Rosetta’s navigation camera was acquired at 01:04 GMT, just an hour before the moment of perihelion, from a distance of around 327 km.
Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion can be described as follows:
- The path of the planets about the sun is elliptical in shape, with the center of the sun being located at one focus. (The Law of Ellipses)
- An imaginary line drawn from the center of the sun to the center of the planet will sweep out equal areas in equal intervals of time. (The Law of Equal Areas)
- The ratio of the squares of the periods of any two planets is equal to the ratio of the cubes of their average distances from the sun. (The Law of Harmonies)
via Kepler’s Three Laws.