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Latest news about space junk

Space junk is a major risk to ongoing space missions. Finding solutions to clear space junk is the focus of many space organisations and private companies. Read latest updates about ClearSpace, ESA's space junk removal mission.

Informational poster on space debris by ESA and UNOOSA

Space Debris is inactive and expired rockets, satellites, etc launched in space by humans. Over time, these objects break up into pieces as they orbit around. Space debris is a risk to space programmes because it can damage satellites and space crafts.

ESA's space junk mission

ESA and ClearSpace SA, a private company, have come up with Clear Space 1 to tackle space debris. It is a four armed robotic claw to hold the debris and pull it down towards Earth's atmosphere. As it falls through the atmosphere, it will destroy itself and the junk. It is scheduled for launch in 2026.

Latest on ClearSpace

Clear Space 1 will remove an adapter broken off from a Europe launch vehicle called VESPA. It was launched way back in 2013. It weighs 112 kgs and is the size of a washing machine. Meanwhile, new debris was spotted around the adapter. Closer analysis shows the adapter was hit by an unknown debris. This collision broke smaller pieces from it. Luckily, a big chunk of the adapter is still in one piece. It is big enough for Clear Space 1 to hold and pull it down.