A bipartisan group of four senators has introduced a bill that would create a NASA-run demonstration program for systems designed to remove orbiting debris such as obsolete government satellites from outer space.
They proposed the legislative measure in response to an incident in March 2021, when a large piece of orbiting debris crashed into a farm in Grant County, Washington.
“Space junk is not only dangerous to humans exploring space, it is also a major risk to satellites that people in Wyoming and around the country rely on for basic communication,” said Lummis, a ranking member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Space and Science.
Provisions of the bill include requiring NASA, the Office of Space Commerce and the National Space Council to produce a list of the debris that could endanger orbiting spacecraft.
“This bill will jumpstart the technology development needed to remove the most dangerous junk before it knocks out a satellite, crashes into a NASA mission, or falls to the ground and hurts someone. We must continue to explore space, and we have to do it safely,” Cantwell said.