ESA planning missions to take out space trash
Half a century of space exploration has created a shroud of junk around Earth. As part of its Clean Space initiative, ESA plans to tackle the problem directly: by designing dedicated removal missions.
Around 5000 space launches since 1957 have led to an orbiting population of more than 22 000 trackable objects larger than a coffee cup. Only about 1100 of these are working satellites the other 95% are space debris.
More than a hundred European experts from industry, academia and national space agencies gathered at ESOC ESAs European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany on 1718 September to discuss ways to actively remove debris from orbit.