ESA commissioned ClearSpace for the active space debris removal mission.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced its plan to tackle the issue of space debris with the deployment of four-armed robots. The robots, named “e.Deorbit,” will use nets and harpoons to capture space debris and bring it back to Earth. ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight, Josef Aschbacher, said in a statement, “Space debris is a growing problem that poses a threat to both space exploration and the safety of our planet. We are excited to launch the e.Deorbit mission as a crucial step in mitigating this issue.”

The e.Deorbit mission is expected to launch in 2025 and will target objects in low-Earth orbit. This is where most of the space debris is located and poses the most significant risk to spacecraft and satellites. The robots will be remotely controlled from the ground and capable of capturing debris up to 10 meters in size. The project is anticipated to be challenging due to the unpredictable environment and the significant amount of debris in orbit.

The ESA hopes that e.Deorbit will pave the way for future space debris cleaning technologies. As Aschbacher explained, “This mission will be a significant step towards developing sustainable space exploration practices. We look forward to working with international partners and industry to make this mission a success.”

According to ESA’s Director of Space Safety, Holger Krag, the debris in orbit is a significant problem. “There are over 34,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm in orbit around the Earth, and these objects pose a serious risk to our space infrastructure,” he said. “ESA is committed to reducing the amount of debris in space, and we believe that e.Deorbit is a critical step in achieving this goal.”

The e.Deorbit mission is a part of ESA’s Clean Space initiative, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of space exploration. The project is a collaboration between the ESA and a consortium of European industry partners, including Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, and OHB SE.

In conclusion, the e.Deorbit mission is a crucial step towards mitigating the problem of space debris. With the deployment of four-armed robots, the ESA hopes to capture and remove debris from low-Earth orbit and pave the way for future space debris cleaning technologies. As Krag stated, “Space debris is a serious problem, and it’s essential that we take action to address it. The e.Deorbit mission is a critical step towards a sustainable future for space exploration.”

Via The Impactlab