Tidy up time! Clean up orbital debris for $102 million
Space debris in orbit is a growing problem. Every time we launch something into space, near-earth space is replenished with space debris. Most of the rocket usually burns up when it enters the atmosphere. But something remains. And this “something” continues to circle around the earth at great speed. Among these items are booster blocks for launch vehicles, debris from explosions. And this is very bad.
In 1983, a small 0.2 mm grain of sand nearly shattered the shuttle’s window.
In 2009, the American satellite Iridium collided with a Russian military communications satellite that had been shut down 15 years ago.
Swiss startup ClearSpace SA promises to tackle space debris. For a start, they promise to remove an object called Vespa from orbit. These are the remains of the Vega rocket. It was used in 2013. Its weight is 112 kg. The cleaning contract is worth $ 102 million. The object is planned to be captured and delivered to the ground.