The first mission to remove a piece of space debris from orbit, Clearspace-1 will rendezvous with, capture and safely bring down a large derelict object for a safe atmospheric reentry
A 112 kg defunct rocket part, launched in 2013, remains lingering in space alongside millions of other bits of space debris. Clearspace-1 will remove this Vespa upper stage from orbit as the first-ever mission to remove an existing derelict object from orbit through highly precise, complex, close proximity operations, all in the name of cleaning up space. While the mission was dreamt up by the ESA Clean Space team, the Agency is purchasing it as a service from the Swiss start-up ‘Clearspace SA’ to demonstrate the technologies needed for debris removal and as a first step to establishing a new and sustainable commercial sector in space.
Launch (planned): 2026
Industrial team: Lead by Clearspace SA
Target: 112 kg Vespa upper stage
Target object altitude: 664 - 801 km