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European Space Agency To Launch Satellite To Clear Debris From Earth's Orbit

European Space Agency to Launch Satellite to Clear Debris From Earth's Orbit

The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch in 2025 ClearSpace-1 satellite that will catch space debris and remove it from Earth's orbit, the agency announced on Monday.
In late November, during a meeting in the Spanish city of Seville, the ESA's Ministerial Council agreed to make space safety one of the pillars of Europe's space policy. Swiss startup ClearSpace is set to begin working on the project in March of next year.
"ClearSpace-1 will be the first space mission to remove an item of debris from orbit, planned for launch in 2025. The mission is being procured as a service contract with a startup-led commercial consortium, to help establish a new market for in-orbit servicing, as well as debris removal," the ESA said in a statement.
The ESA officials also stressed the importance of tackling the issue of space debris at this stage of space exploration.
"Even if all space launches were halted tomorrow, projections show that the overall orbital debris population will continue to grow, as collisions between items generate fresh debris in a cascade effect," Luisa Innocenti, the head of the ESA's Clean Space initiative, said.
The satellite will be initially launched into low Earth orbit to be tested, after which it will be raised to the target orbit. The goal is to reach the Vega Secondary Payload Adapter, which was used to launch three satellites in 2013. ClearSpace-1 will use its four robotic arms to catch and move debris into Earth's atmosphere, where they will burn out.

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