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Multiple Removal of Spent Rocket Upper Stages with an Ion Beam Shepherd

Bombardelli, C. 1, Herrera-montojo, J. 1, Gonzalo, J. L.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2013 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference6th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
L. Ouwehand


Among the many advantages of the recently proposed ion beam shepherd (IBS) debris removal technique is the capability to deal with multiple targets in a single mission. A preliminary analysis is here conducted in order to estimate the cost in terms of spacecraft mass and total mission time to remove multiple large-size upper stages of the Zenit family. Zenit-2 upper stages are clustered at 71 degrees inclination around 850 km altitude in low Earth orbit. It is found that a removal of two targets per year is feasible with a modest size spacecraft. The most favorable combinations of targets are outlined.