ClearSpace enters next development phase

02 May 2024 10:01

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Renens - ClearSpace has simplified its structures to decrease industrial risks and raise cost efficiency. The European Space Agency (ESA) has now given the go-ahead for continuation of the mission to eliminate space debris led by Germany’s OHB.

ClearSpace can continue with its mission to trace and dispose of space debris. The startup with headquarters in Renens in the canton of Vaud has adapted its internal structure following the first phase of the ClearSpace-1 mission together with the European Space Agency (ESA). According to a press release, this will simplify the structure of its industrial team to reduce risks and enable rapid, cost-effective implementation.

With this move, ESA has given the green light for the preparatory phase to continue. The consortium will be led by OHB, a space and technology company based in Bremen.

ClearSpace’s CEO Luc Piguet commented in the press release: “We are honoured to collaborate with OHB and remain at the forefront of in-orbit servicing with the ClearSpace-1 mission.” He added: “We believe that a strong partnership between startups and established large prime contractors highlights the best of both worlds to build reliable, competitive, and scalable products and services within an agile and dynamic collaboration.’’

ClearSpace, a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), has started a test mission to capture disused satellites. In the new phase of the program, the ClearSpace-1 mission now aims to capture a spacecraft that has been used by ESA for 20 years, Proba-1, and initiate a targeted return to the Earth’s atmosphere, where the aircraft will then burn up. ce/ww

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