Got Space Junk?


The Big Picture:

The European Space Agency (ESA) awarded a $129 million (U.S. dollars) contract to Swiss startup ClearSpace to remove rocket debris left in orbit since 2013. The mission—called ClearSpace One—is slated for 2025.


What Rocket Debris?

In 2013, ESA launched its Proba-V remote-sensing satellite aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket. The rocket left behind a Vega/Vespa payload adapter.


How Will It Be Removed?

Watch the video! ClearSpace and its partners will build a debris removal spacecraft with four robotic arms to reach out like a claw to capture the debris and drag it into Earth's atmosphere. Both the spacecraft and the debris will burn up on reentry.


Space For Women?

ClearSpace has several women on its management team, including Muriel Richard as its technical lead and Noémy Scheidegger as its senior systems engineer.