Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana


ESA (European Space Agency) is commissioning a new company ClearSpace to clean up orbital debris. The Swiss startup company will target large pieces of debris, like failed satellites. There are 2,000 satellites in use and 3,000 satellites that failed in orbit around Earth. The company will also do in-orbit servicing of satellites.

The first ClearSpace-1 mission will be to capture the Vespa’s (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter) upper stage left in orbit in 2013. Using a “chaser” with a quartet of robotic arms, Vespa will be captured. The ‘chaser’ and Vespa will then deorbit and burn up during reentry.