Europe plans to launch a huge “hook” to extract space debris


The European Space Agency plans to launch a huge hook to extract large chunks of space debris, and pull it toward the Earth to burn in the atmosphere. Recently, it contracted with a Swiss start-up called “Clear Space SA”, with a contract worth $ 103 million, to launch the first version of that hook system. To remove the first remnants of space from orbit, in what the responsible scientists described as a global precedent.

The goal of “ClearSpace SA” is to cut a small hole in our orbit overcrowded with waste, which could cause collisions that exacerbate congestion and increase the risk of the orbit. The startup plans to start its mission – called “Clare Space 1” in 2025, to try to use the hook to retrieve a matching consumer payload. Of the Vespa adaptations (a missile part designed by the European Space Agency to launch payloads into different orbits), and its displacement from orbit for disposal.

This spent missile part weighs about 113 kilograms, and was left in 2013 at an altitude of about 800 kilometers, that is, within the “orbit of the Gebana” in which the spent parts of the satellites are currently discarded..

This hook method is not the only possible solution to the space debris problem. In February, Northrop Grumman succeeded in anchoring a spacecraft on a satellite operating in its orbit, hoping that it would eventually extend the life of the spent satellites discarded in the orbit of the necropolis by updating or refilling them with fuel..

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