Space garbage is a matter of concern, and it may be the most massive garbage dump. Hundred of thousands of human-made dead satellites and their junks are there in the Earth’s orbit that could critically damage spacecraft and satellites. There are more than 3,000 defunct satellites and ten millions of smaller pieces of debris clatter around the atmosphere. They are known as ‘space junk”. Sometimes, two big pieces crash with each other, producing more junk. The European Space Agency (ESA) has taken the initiative known as ClearSpace-1 to solve the problem.
What are these Space Junk?
Since man first sent Sputnik 1, the first human-made satellite, on October 4, 1957, space junk started to assemble. Day by day, we began to explore more and Space Age arrives, leaving our mark on space in the form of trash. There have been more than 4,700 space launches all over the world. Once any satellite escapes Earth’s gravitational pull, it keeps roaming on the space as trash. Jettison satellites are also becoming a kind of junk in space. The number of garbage is getting increased day by day. India completed an anti-missile test on March 27, 2019, that created at least 400 pieces of debris. Most of the trash is in low Earth orbit that is within 1250 miles of Earth’s surface. The sky is becoming more crowded with scientific and commercial orbiters, and all the nations must come forward to solve the problem.
Know About ClearSpace-1 Mission
The ESA said it would launch an experimental four-armed robot, that will grasp or hug a dead satellite in its clutches. After holding the object close, it will drag the object into Earth’s atmosphere, destroying both devices. It is like taking one bucketful of water out of the Lake Superior. But the experts are hopeful that it will slowly clean up the space-debris.
The ClearSpace-1 mission is scheduled to launch in 2025, and it is aimed to hug a midsize piece of junk called Vespa, which ESA’s Vega launcher released about 500 miles above the Earth in 2013. It is about 220 lbs or 100 kilograms so it will be quite easy to target it and capture. Following the catch, the robotic garbage collector and Vespa will make a burning descent into Earth’s atmosphere in a controlled way. According to reports, the mission will cost about $133 million. Meanwhile, several other countries have suggested other junk-removal methods, so it is time to see whether we will succeed in removing space garbage or not.