ClearSpace One, formerly CleanSpace One is a technology demonstration satellite first developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL). It is intended to test technologies for rendezvous, capture, and deorbit for end of life satellites and space junk. Destructive reentry will destroy both the captured satellites and itself.
The initial design included a claw for grabbing satellites. However, after collaboration with students from the University of Applied Science in Geneva, the engineers concluded that a net that collapses onto satellites was the most agile and reliable collection system.
A later design used a collapsible net that aligns and then collapses onto a satellite to demonstrate the concept. The spacecraft is expected to collect SwissCube satellites that have expended their useful lifespan.
Spinoff and ESA mission
EPFL spun off a private company called ClearSpace. In 2019, this company won a competition for a European Space Agency Space Safety program contract in the Active Debris Removal/In-Orbit Servicing (ADRIOS) project. It will target the Vega Secondary Payload Adapter from 2013 Vega flight VV02 for de-orbiting.
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- ESA commissions world’s first space debris removal
- ClearSpace official homepage