Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Major changes approved for ClearSpace-1 mission

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024

SAN FRANCISCO – The European Space Agency has approved major changes in the ClearSpace-1 debris-cleanup mission.

Under the new plan approved by ESA’s Space Safety Programme Board, OHB SE of Bremen, Germany, will provide the satellite bus in addition to leading systems integration and launch. Swiss startup ClearSpace will oversee proximity operations and capture of the mission’s new debris target, ESA’s Project for On-Board Autonomy-1 (PROBA-1) satellite.

Originally, the ClearSpace-1 mission was scheduled to capture a Vega rocket payload adapter, Vespa. In August, the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Defense Squadron notified ESA of debris in the vicinity of Vespa, indicating a probable collision.

The new target, Proba-A, is a 94-kilogram ESA technology demonstration launched in 1998.

After rendezvous, ClearSpace-1 is expected to capture Proba-A with a four-armed mechanism. Then, the two objects will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

“We will continue pushing the boundaries of in-orbit servicing and lay the foundations of a sustainable space operation,” ClearSpace CEO Luc Piguet said in a statement. “We believe that a strong partnership between startups and established large prime contractors highlights the best of both worlds to build reliable, competitive and scalable products and services.”

The 112-kilogram Vespa is in an orbit of approximately 801 by 664 kilometers. Proba-A is in a 681- by 561-kilometer orbit.

ESA selected Clearspace for the ClearSpace-1 mission in 2020. In 2023, Clearspace booked an Arianespace Vega C rocket for the flight.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Major changes approved for ClearSpace-1 mission”
  1. As a space enthusiast, I’m thrilled with the changes approved for the ClearSpace-1 mission! It’s exciting to see advancements in debris-cleanup technology and the potential for sustainable space operations. Kudos to ClearSpace CEO Luc Piguet for his visionary leadership in pushing the boundaries of in-orbit servicing.

  2. Do you think the changes in the ClearSpace-1 mission will affect its success rate? I’m curious about the potential impact of capturing Proba-A instead of Vespa.

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