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The year is 2069 and mankind has successfully established colonies on the Moon and Mars and has routine daily flights between Earth and its outposts. The past 50 years have led to great innovations in space travel and colonization. Interplanetary flights have become the norm and commercial Space-based Hotels (Spacetels) are a popular vacation spot for earthlings. Unfortunately, these travels have also caused mankind to create an enormous amount of space debris, creating a hazard for travel to other planets and Spacetels.
You and your friends have taken the latest space flight for spring break aboard the Spacetel orbiting above earth designated S.S. New Orange Beach. During your flight to S.S. New Orange Beach, your astronauts have insisted that you keep your window shutters closed. You couldn’t resist the urge to peek; outside your window you see a cloud of debris floating ominously in the distance. A red flyer wagon rockets past your window, barely avoiding collision with the spacecraft.
The repercussions of a collision with even a tiny piece debris traveling at orbital or interplanetary velocities could be devastating; such a collision could destroy a spacecraft. The cleanup process is arduous and expensive, and international regulations only permit unmanned, autonomous bots to assist with the cleanup efforts. To reduce the risk of disaster, debris removal bots have been commissioned by the international community. These autonomous debris removal bots will assist with cleanup of the debris in Earth’s orbit. Your mission is to design such an autonomous debris removal bot. In the spirit of cooperation that led to our greatest innovations in space, your bot must cooperate with other debris removal bots in orbit and thus make space travel safer for everyone. Good luck with your venture.