SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Vital technology for the first ever mission to remove a piece of debris from space is going to be built in the UK, the Science Minister has announced.
Planned for 2025, Clearspace-1 is the first ever space mission dedicated to removing an existing object in orbit, and is a significant first step towards a cleaner space environment. The Clearspace-1 satellite – dubbed ‘The Claw’ – will use a pincer motion to collect debris, before giving it a controlled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere – allowing it to decompose safely and away from life.
The global space sector is a high‑technology niche with a complex ecosystem, which employed at least 900 000 persons around the world in 2013, including public administrations (space agencies, space departments in civil and defence‑related organisations), the space manufacturing industry (building rockets, satellites, ground systems); direct suppliers to this industry (components), and the wider space services sector (mainly commercial satellite telecommunications). But these estimates do not take into account universities and research institutions, which also play a key role in R&D, as receivers of public contracts and initiators of much of the space sector’s innovation.