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A Colorado company wants to recycle space junk

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13min 40sec
About 95 percent of the objects in this 2019 illustration are orbital debris. Denver-based CisLunar Industries is developing technology to recycle space junk into reusable metal.

A recycling truck in space could solve a growing problem: trash in Earth’s orbit-- junk that threatens everything from GPS satellites to the space station. Last week the U.S. Space Force announced a plan to promote manufacturing and recycling in space. That’s an opportunity for Denver-based CisLunar Industries, which is working on space recycling. CEO Gary Calnan explains the technology and Colorado School of Mines professor Angel Abbud-Madrid weighs in on the potential implications.