OSCaR spacecraft is designed to gather garbage

…and it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!

Remember the garbage-collecting Oscar the Grouch, from Sesame Street? Well, an orbital-debris-gathering spacecraft now bears his name. Known as OSCaR (for “Obsolete Spacecraft Capture and Removal”), the semi-autonomous craft is currently being developed at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

OSCaR will be a CubeSat, meaning that it will be a small, rectangular satellite.

In fact, it will be made up of three joined 10 x 10 x 10-cm (3.9-inch) CubeSat units. One unit will house its propellant and propulsion module; another will contain its data storage, GPS and communication systems; and another – the one in the front – will house four gun barrels that shoot out nets attached to tethers.

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