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It's all plain sailing in space

A pair of space sails designed and manufactured by the University of Surrey team behind Remove DEBRIS – a project that demonstrated a number of world-first active space debris removal technologies – have been successfully deployed.

The design and production of the sails build on the Surrey Space Centre’s successful InflateSail mission. The technology was also part of last year's Remove DEBRIS mission, which ultimately saw its sail demonstration not deploy correctly.

Dr. Ben Taylor, Systems Engineer at the Surrey Space Centre, said: “After many months of waiting for good observing conditions, we are delighted to see observations confirming that the sails we have provided to Spaceflight are working as planned. In fact, the sails are regularly bright enough to be visible to the naked eye.

We now have a strong history of demonstrating the success of this self-contained sail system. ‘‘

We believe that Surrey Space Centre has now successfully deployed the most instances of this debris removal technology and we now have a strong history of demonstrating the success of this self-contained sail system.”