As outlined in our previous article
, we must address the topic of littering space as soon as possible. The earlier we take care of space debris, the higher the chance we won't have to deal with its appalling consequences in the future. Fortunately, this is not just a topic of planning for our future actions, as we are at the stage of testing out the technology we have in practice. ClearSpaceSA was recently tagged to manage the $100m ESA initiative
to address the issue, all the while in March of 2021 Astroscale
plans to launch its space debris removal satellite to demonstrate the key technologies behind keeping space clean & accessible in the long run. This mission, named ELSA-d
, will consist of two satellites - a "Chaser" satellite designed by Astroscale, and a "Target" satellite provided by SSTL
. While in orbit, these spacecraft will carry out a series of capture & release maneuvers that will supply the teams with the necessary information for further testing. If all goes well, we will see more companies like Astroscale and Clearspace Today ramping up the development of this tech, guiding us towards creating a sustainable space environment.
Starting in 2021, the upcoming years will be a very eventful time for the global space economy. Every day we gather crucial data that changes the world around us and leads to further developments in the space sector, and therefore, builds the future of mankind. Newer technologies, the decentralization of the space economy, a widening of the space market - all of these changes await us yet this upcoming year. We have an opportunity to use all of these innovations to our advantage, and for the good of the space environment. Let's build the future of space effectively and responsibly.