The EsA announced the agency’s first ever mission to remove junk from space, with its spacecraft recovering a piece of space junk while orbiting our planet,media CNET reported. The mission, called ClearSpace-1, is being carried out by a consortium led by ClearSpace, a Swiss-based start-up. ESA has approved the consortium’s submission of a final proposal for the project, which is scheduled for March 2020.
ClearSpace-1’s mission will target a piece of space debris that means the man-made object is inactive and in low-Earth orbit. Assuming the mission is successful, it will be used to demonstrate technologies that can be used to remove space junk from orbit, paving the way for future missions to clear space.
Thousands of active and abandoned satellites are currently orbiting the Earth, and the problem will become more acute in the coming years as more agencies and countries launch satellites and spacecraft. For many reasons, these fragments are problematic, the most important of which is the danger it poses to satellites in future launches and activities.
ESA Director-General Jan W?rner stated:
Imagine how dangerous it would be to sail on the high seas if all the lost ships in history were still floating on the water. That’s the current orbital situation, and that can’t continue. The strong support of ESA member States for the new mandate also points the way for new commercial services that will be essential in the future.
NASA and ESA agree that large space debris must be removed to “stabilize the orbital environment.” The reason is that large space debris often collides at some point, causing the debris to break and break. These collisions result in more (albeit smaller) debris, which is also associated with growing waste.
ESA has plans to launch the ClearSpace-1 mission in 2025.