Planetes in Real Life?

Planetes Volume 1 cover

Planetes is an exceptionally good manga series, recently reprinted by Dark Horse, about garbage collectors in space.

Today, I saw this NY Times article, “Space’s Trash Collector? A Japanese Entrepreneur Wants the Job”.

Planetes Omnibus

Sadly, this plan doesn’t involve sending people to space as interstellar garbage collectors. Instead, he plans to use a satellite to map the debris up there and then launch a glue-covered drone to grab it and burn it up during re-entry. Astroscale’s slogan is “Space Sweepers”.

The problem is the same in both cases, though:

…low Earth orbit has become so littered with debris that space agencies and scientists warn of the increasing danger of collisions for satellites and manned spacecraft.

But hey, it gave me another excuse to talk about Planetes.

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