Paris, 27 November 2020. – The European Space Agency (ESA) contracted a consortium led by Swiss startup ClearSpace for the world’s first space debris removal mission, ESA said. The contract has a value of € 86 million.
ClearSpace will start ClearSpace-1, the first mission to remove space debris, in 2025, ESA said.
The mission aims to build a top Vega platform, the so-called Vespa, which has been left in space at a height of 660 to 800 kilometers with the second launch of Vega in 2013. The object, which ClearSpace-1 will seize , has a small satellite size and will burn up with ClearSpace-1 when they both rejoin the atmosphere.
After nearly 60 years of space exploration, more than 5,550 launches have left about 42,000 known objects in space, ESA said. With around 100 launches every year now, this number will increase continuously.