Space debris hit Hollywood

© Warner Bros Entertainment

© Warner Bros Entertainment

Alfonso Cuaròn’s new movie, Gravity, illustrate the dangers of the proliferation of debris in the low Earth orbit. Muriel Richard, an engineer at the Swiss Space Center, was interviewed about it by Radio Television Suisse (RTS).

Gravity is out. This movie, directed by Alfonso Cuaròn, is about the dangers caused by the proliferation of space debris in the lower orbit. While they were on a spacewalk to repair the Hubble telescope, two astronauts – played by actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – are hit by a swarm of debris traveling at full speed through space. Their spacecraft is destroyed and the communication with the ground is lost. Left all alone in the void, they have to struggle to survive, with the threat of the debris coming back after a first round around the Earth...

The issue of space debris proliferation is something the engineers at the Swiss Space Center know a lot about. On the occasion of the movie’s release, the Radio Television Suisse (RTS) interviewed one of them, Muriel Richard, who is working hard with her colleagues to raise awareness and find technical solutions to this problem. In particular, the Space Center is developing CleanSpace One, a satellite that could sweep up space junk and throw it into Earth's atmosphere to be burned up.

Report on RTS, October 22, 2013