The European Space Agency (ESA) continues to try to find solutions to remove aging satellites from Earth’s orbit. The European Space Agency has now begun a collaboration with space internet operator OneWeb and space company Astroscale, which we hope will lead to a system for nurturing space waste.
The idea behind the European Space Agency’s latest project is to send Astroscale’s ELSA-M spacecraft into space in 2024, where it will attempt to capture ancient satellites. Then it must be sent to the Earth’s atmosphere where it burns. Early last fall, Astroscale captured a satellite in space with its ELSA-D spacecraft. However, the upcoming ELSA-M will be the first “space garbage truck” capable of capturing multiple satellites simultaneously.
OneWeb is participating in the project because their satellite will test ESA for its collection. OneWeb’s internet satellites have a lifespan of five to six years and must then be scrapped. The satellites have already been assigned fuel so that they can rid themselves of by leaving Earth’s orbit and hovering in Earth’s atmosphere. The system being developed by ESA, AstroScale and OneWeb is now intended for use in times when OneWeb satellites for some reason fail to clear themselves.
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