CubeSail parachute sends satellites to a fiery grave

What happens when a satellite has outlived its purpose? Most of the time it turns into space junk, and the increasing amount of said space junk has begun to be an issue for other satellites and, worse, manned space vehicles such as the ISS.

The CubeSail is designed to help solve the problem of space debris by pushing dead satellites towards the Earth, burning them up harmlessly and getting them out of the way. Designed by researchers at the University of Surrey, it should be ready for addition to new satellites in late 2011. At that point, satellite makers will be able to have the CubeSail automatically deploy when the satellite's job is done, clearing the way for new satellites. Progress!

University of Surrey, via Engadget