ESA purchases world-first debris removal mission from Swiss start-up

ESA has signed an €86 million contract with an industrial team led by Swiss start-up ClearSpace SA to purchase a unique service: the first removal of an item of space debris from orbit.

ClearSpace-1 captures Vespa
Image: ClearSpace SA

As a result, in 2025, ClearSpace will launch the first active debris removal mission, ClearSpace-1, which will rendezvous, capture and take down for reentry the upper part of a Vespa (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter) used with Europe’s Vega launcher.This object was left in a ‘gradual disposal’ orbit (altitude of approximately 801 km by 664 km), complying with space debris mitigation regulations, following the second flight of Vega back in 2013.

Categories

  • Industry

Contact

Swiss Committee on Space Research (CSR)
c/o Prof. Dr Stéphane Paltani
University of Geneva
Department of Astronomy
Chemin d'Ecogia 16
1290 Versoix
Switzerland

E-mail