Rolatube composite deployment booms were used for the InflateSail mission in 2017. This was the first European spacecraft to successfully demonstrate de-orbiting – deliberately causing a satellite to re-enter and burn up – in a drive to reduce the amount of hazardous “Space Junk” currently causing problems by taking up orbits that are needed for new spacecraft.

This was followed by the launch in April 2018 of the “RemoveDEBRIS” mission.

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This mission takes the proven InflateSail mechanism and combines it with technology demonstrators to show how existing debris can be tracked, then captured by either a harpoon or a net and then recovered to clear critical orbital slots.

Having proven their ability, Rolatube based mechanisms are being developed for other functions such as reducing the size and mass, and simplifying the deployment of Solar Cell Arrays, Antennas, Instrument Booms, Capture Arms and Docking Systems as well as many other areas of Spaceflight Engineering.