The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Thursday the signing of an 86 million euro contract with the Swiss industrial company ClearSpace for a space debris removal mission, to be launched in 2025. interest: An orbital station, China’s new objective on the Moon)
The objective of the mission, dubbed ClearSpace-1, will be to remove a 112-kilogram fragment from the European Vega booster rocket, launched in 2013 and located 660 kilometers above the Earth.
According to the Paris-based ESA, this contract will establish a new commercial sector in space, since it contemplates the acquisition of the mission from start to finish, instead of developing a spacecraft defined by ESA for its internal operation.
“ClearSpace will raise the remainder of the cost of the mission from commercial investors,” he explained in the statement.
In nearly 60 years of space activity, the more than 5,550 launches have resulted in the deposit of 42,000 objects in orbit, of which around 23,000 remain in space.
This mission, in which companies from the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Poland, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Romania also collaborate, aims to demonstrate the technical and commercial capacity that will allow to maintain the sustainability of space flight in the long term.
ESA has organized a virtual meeting next week to explain the mission program in detail.