Gadgets

European space "Claw" will clear the orbit of "dead" satellites (video)


Space junk cleaner will appear as a resulta partnership agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and ClearSpace of Switzerland. The contract amount is $ 68 million. The result of cooperation will be the first spacecraft in the history of the Earth, the purpose of which will be to collect the debris that has accumulated over the short space age, in the form of debris from artificial satellites or vehicles that have lost control. The name of the future orbital cleaner - Claw (Claw) has also become symbolic.

Today, the Earth's orbit isabout 2.8 thousand operational and 3 thousand satellites that have served their time. In addition, a huge amount of spacecraft debris rotates in orbit - only large fragments with a diameter of over 100 mm, there are over 900 thousand here. The main task of the "Claw" orbit cleaner will be to destroy the largest inoperative artificial orbital objects. To do this, the device will "push" the "dead" satellites from orbit and send them to the upper atmosphere, where they should collapse and burn.


The first "victim" of the space scavenger will bea secondary payload adapter for the ESA Vega rocket, called VESPA, which has an impressive 112 kg mass and has been in orbit since 2013. ClearSpace startup engineers have created a video demonstration of the process of changing the "Claw" flight trajectory.

According to the project plans, the start of the firstspace cleaner ClearSpace-1 is slated for 2025. The partners are currently seeking additional funding to successfully complete flight preparations. The presence of a huge amount of debris in orbit and the ever-increasing number of new spacecraft launched from Earth make this project a long-term, permanent one.