The European Space Agency is preparing for a space cleaning mission. ESA wants to clean up the Earth’s orbit from potentially hazardous waste for future missions. The mission will capture the Vespa object and then will self-destruct itself in the atmosphere.
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Near-Earth space is a garbage cloud that is beginning to worry scientists. More than 2,800 working satellites are circling around us and in their path could collide with the nearly 3,000 dead satellites or the 900,000 pieces of debris that have been left behind after being used for other missions.
That is why the European Space Agency, ESA, has developed a new mission to recover one of those objects that remain inert in space. This is the Vespa (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter), a tool used in the Vega missions that have not been used since 2003. This object weighs approximately 112 kilograms and is currently orbiting at an altitude of between 664 and 801 kilometers above the Earth.
To capture the Vespa, ESA has invested 86 million euros and, even so, it is not enough. The rest of the necessary investment will be provided by the company Clear Space, which will collaborate on this mission with the European agency. Clear Space has raised the rest of the necessary money through commercial investors.
This is one of the first contracts that ESA carries out to carry out a mission, they usually design and build the ships themselves. In this case, the work will be done by Clear Space and ESA engineers will contribute their experience and knowledge of previous missions to help this company.
ClearSpace-1 is the name of the mission that consists of launching the vehicle into space to hunt down the Vespa. Both the Vespa and the new vehicle will head into the atmosphere to burn up and disintegrate before touching down. It is a suicide mission for the ship created by Clear Space, but very necessary to clean up our planet’s orbit.
The European Space Agency is preparing for a space cleaning mission. The mission will take place in 2025, and this month the contract between ESA and Clear Space has been published. These types of missions or proposals to clear nearby space are not new.