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A satellite is preparing to clean up the room

In the future, the environmental cause will no longer be limited to land borders. Indeed, Europe is currently working on a project aimed at making space more ecological.

A mission for Clearspace

The European Space Agency (ESA) has decided to start a new project. This aims to reduce the number of debris in space and especially on Earth. To breathe life into its ambitions, ESA has just signed a contract with a young Swiss start-up.

ClearSpace was therefore selected to carry out the first mission to clear Earth’s orbit. On this occasion, the project is allocated a budget of 100 million euros, 86 of which will be invested directly by ESA. The ClearSpace-1 satellite will then begin its mission in 2025, starting from Kourou, Guyana.

The first objective of the purification satellite is to desorb the upper stage of a VEGA missile launched in 2013. The 100 kilogram object that is currently in orbit must first be observed before it is visible. can be recovered and removed using the four mechanical arms of the 500 kg satellite so that it dissolves into the atmosphere.

A market that is likely to grow

ESA and its 22 Member States seem particularly proud of their new project. Eric Morel de Westgayer, who is responsible for industry and purchasing at the European Space Agency, explains: “We have never entrusted a small start-up with an order of this magnitude.” Indeed, the mission is seen as innovative in the church. This is evidenced by the twenty companies from eight different ESA member countries that have decided to make a financial contribution to the mission.

All of this shows a real enthusiasm for this still virgin market. The European Space Agency then hopes to “set an example”. The goal is therefore twofold: to tackle the brand new fight against space pollution and to demonstrate its technical feasibility through the ClearSpace project.

In any case, this new market has every chance to develop. It is important to remember that it has now been sixty years since mankind was able to travel into space, and that this resulted in severe congestion in Earth orbit. It is estimated that up to 42,000 space objects larger than four inches orbit above the earth. This could become extremely dangerous in the long run. These objects at a speed of 28,000 km / h would pose a constant threat to satellites already in orbit, but also to future space missions.


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