In 2025, ESA plans to launch the world’s first garbage collector orbiting in space. The garbage collector is a four-handed robot that tracks waste in space.
Reporting from Sciencealert, there are more than 500,000 junk floating in space. If the garbage is not cleaned up immediately, then the risk of a collision between the flying spacecraft and the garbage will be even greater.
“Imagine how dangerous it is to sail in the high seas if all the lost ships are still on the water. That is the current situation in orbit and it cannot be allowed to continue,” said Jan Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA).
The robot’s first mission is called ClearSpace-1. The mission starts with just picking up a piece of junk from space to prove the robot’s working concept.
This piece of rubbish weighs about the same as a small satellite and has a simple shape that makes it easy to hold with four robotic arms. Once safe in the robotic arm, the garbage will be taken out of orbit and allowed to burn in the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, by carrying the garbage, the robot will also be destroyed by burning in the atmosphere. However, in the future, ESA hopes to create a safe way for robots to clean up trash in space.
“The problem of satellite debris in space is more worrying than before. Today we have nearly 2,000 satellites living in space and there are more than 3,000 failing satellites that have become junk,” said Luc Piguet, CEO of ClearSpace.
Not a few costs needed to carry out this mission. ClearSpace mission will cost 117 million euros.