The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a USD$102 million contract with a Swiss start-up company to incinerate a piece of space junk. The deal will marks the world’s first space junk cleanup mission.

The Swiss firm, ClearSpace, hopes to launch a special satellite by 2025 that will be able to snatch and remove pieces of space trash in the Earth’s orbit. There are currently thousands of defunct satellites and smaller pieces of trash that are circling the planet, posing a risk of collision with working satellites. 

The founder and CEO of ClearSpace, Luc Piguet, warns that this danger will keep growing due to plans to send up potentially thousands more satellites in the low Earth orbit in the coming years. 

What is Happening?

You might also like: What is Space Junk and What Can We Do About It?

The ESA says that follow-up space junk cleanup missions will aim to capture more challenging objects and then several bits of debris at once.