ESA launches the world's first space waste disposal mission

wallpapers Industry 2020-09-11

"clean space-1" uses four space claws to grab an aboned payload adapter (Art). Photo source: science website

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a 86 million euro contract with Swiss start-up clearspace to build a special satellite clearspace-1 which will be launched in 2025 to capture a piece of space waste weighing about 100 kg. This will be the world's first mission to capture dispose of orbital space debris.

at that time "clean space-1" will use four fully armed space claws to capture the debris drag it to a lower orbit enter the atmosphere together burn it. The satellite's follow-up mission also includes "capturing more challenging objects capturing multiple space debris simultaneously.".

have been launched since the space age in the 1960s. A total of 5500 launches have been carried out leaving 23000 objects larger than grapefruit in orbit millions of small objects that cannot be traced. ESA estimates that today there are more than 100 million space junk which is spinning around the earth at a speed of 40000 km / h. Luc pigate CEO of

clean space said "even objects a few millimeters in size can cause great damage to other spacecraft due to their high speed." In the next few years there will be "hundreds or even thouss of satellites" operating in low earth orbit the risk of collision will only increase. Louisa Innocenti head of the clean space office at

ESA said the challenge for the clean space-1 mission is to design an imaging system that can automatically quickly depict an object's characteristics before the space claw can grasp it.

of course "clean space" is not satisfied with the above goals pigate said: "we will steadily move forward we hope to grasp larger targets can deal with multiple targets at the same time to reduce costs."

Hughes Lewis University of Southampton UK said "it is necessary to reduce costs." He explained that clean space would cost 100 million euros (86 million of which came from ESA) to clean up about 100 kilograms of space waste. In this way the cost of cleaning up the "most dangerous object in orbit" the 8000 kg ENVISAT earth observation satellite would be "staggering". In addition Japan's astroscale company plans to launch a mission called elsa-d in March 2021: release a target aircraft with ferromagnetic docking plate with a service spacecraft capture the target with magnets.

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