Satellite deorbitation is an increasingly popular topic these days. It is related to the growing amount of space debris in low earth orbits. These objects include multi-stage rocket modules, inactive satellites, and small components that have been generated by satellite collisions.
Consequently, a multitude of small elements are created, which orbit endangering active satellites. This leads to an increased risk of the so-called “Kessler syndrome”. It is a scenario proposed by NASA employee Donald J. Kessler, according to which space debris will continuously increase – and exponentially, due to secondary collisions. Without proven ways to avoid collisions or deorbit, spaceflight could become just history.
If all devices sent into space had deorbitation systems, these unfortunate events could be avoided. Students at Warsaw University of Technology were thinking about solving this problem in the early 2000s.