A Garbage Collector That Eats Space Debris to Keep Going

A sketch of the proposed engine. Illustration via Debris Engine: A Potential Thruster for Space Debris Removal

A sketch of the proposed engine.
Illustration via Debris Engine: A Potential Thruster for Space Debris Removal

An artist's impression of space debris in low-Earth orbit. ESA

An artist's impression of space debris in low-Earth orbit. ESA

Engineers at the Tsinghua Unviersity in Beijing have designed a space debris engine that will consume space junk and then convert that into a plasma fuel to continue its mission. This is a much needed concept considering that there is so much space junk orbiting our planet natural and man made. This could make space safer for spacecraft and satellites in the future.  Not only that, the engineers believe that this kind of self-sustaining craft could be used in space exploration.