- Main article: Planetes (Manga)
Planetes (in Japanese プラネテス Puranetesu, in Ancient Greek Πλανήτης) was written by Makoto Yukimura. It was published in English in North America by Tokyopop.
The series was originally published by Kodansha in the manga magazine Weekly Morning from January 1999 to January 2004 and collected in four tankōbon volumes. It is licensed in English in North America by Tokyopop, where it was published in five volumes by splitting the last volume in two parts.
- Main article: Planetes (Anime)
Planetes is a 26-episode Japanese animated television series based on the manga of the same name. Planetes first aired on NHK on October 2003 with the episode "Outside the Atmosphere", and concluded on April 2004 with the episode "And the Days We Chance Upon…". The story of Planetes follows the crew of the DS-12 "Toy Box" of the ISPV 7 Debris Section, a unit of Technora Corporation. Debris Section's purpose is to prevent the damage or destruction of satellites, space stations and spacecraft from collision with debris in Earth's and the Moon's orbits. They use a number of methods to dispose of the debris (mainly by burning it via atmospheric reentry or through salvage), accomplished through the use of EVA Suits.
The episodes sometimes revolve around debris collection itself, but more often the concept of collecting "trash" in space is merely a storytelling method for building character development. The members of the Debris Section are looked down upon as the lowest members of the company and they must work hard to prove their worth to others and accomplish their dreams.
Ongoing plot elements include an upcoming exploratory mission to Jupiter on the new fusion powered ship, Von Braun, and the lead character's decision to join the mission, no matter the cost. Many other plot threads are also developed throughout the series that help to explain each character's motivations and personalities. The Space Defense Front is a terrorist organization that believes mankind is exploiting space without first curing global problems such as mass famine and the widened socio-economic divide on Earth.