European Space Agency is sending a giant claw into orbit to clean up space junk

The Claaaaaaaaaaaaawwww …

free space

Around 2,800 living satellites are currently orbiting the earth. That’s a lot, but it’s absolutely nothing compared to the amount of Deceased objects – also known as space debris – are also circling the globe.

Scientists estimate that nearly 3,000 dead satellites are orbiting our planet, which is not responsible for the 900,000 pieces of debris less than 10 centimeters in length that could cause a disaster if one piece hits the wrong satellite at the wrong time.

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Scientists and engineers are working hard to solve the problem, and the European Space Agency is in the early stages of implementing one of the more bizarre solutions: a space claw that can capture larger, defunct satellites and guide them back into the earth’s atmosphere. where both the satellite and the Claw itself would burn in peace.

The plan was originally conceived in 2019. Now ESA is officially signing a contract with the Swiss startup ClearSpace to build and launch its first debris removal mission called ClearSpace-1.

The Claw’s first target is a VESPA (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter) that has been orbiting the earth since it helped launch an ESA Vega rocket in 2013. The VESPA weighs 112 kg and, according to ESA, is almost the size of a small satellite.

ESA is contributing 86 million euros to the cost of the mission. ClearSpace is expected to do the rest if it tries to make a long-term business of garbage disposal. Hopefully this mission can become the first of many as humanity discovers new and innovative ways to clean up the gigantic chaos it is creating from the space above our atmosphere.

ClearSpace hopes to launch its first mission in 2025.

Long live the claw.


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