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ClearSpace Passes First ESA Review Ahead Of First Mission

ClearSpace has begun the procurement of spacecraft components for its 2026 debris de-orbit mission, after confirming its first major program review.

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Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Wed Feb 22 2023Written by Zac Aubert

ClearSpace has initiated the procurement of spacecraft components for its 2026 debris de-orbit mission, after confirming it and its industrial partners have successfully passed their first major program review with the European Space Agency (ESA) for its ground-breaking mission to remove a large debris object from Earth orbit. With this milestone, ClearSpace has shown the ability to meet the technology requirements this mission demands.

The European Space Agency (ESA) tasked ClearSpace with a unique deorbit mission in 2020, which involves building, launching, and operating a spacecraft that will rendezvous with a large piece of debris in orbit. The spacecraft will capture the object and safely maneuver it into Earth's atmosphere.

To accomplish this goal, ClearSpace has developed a novel four-armed capture system for its robotic satellite, which successfully passed proof-of-concept testing at ESA's ESTEC technology center in the Netherlands in October 2022. This achievement was a significant milestone for the program, and it contributed to the success of ClearSpace's program review.

ClearSpace secured $26.7 million EUR at the close of their series A financing round. This investment will help the company accelerate its efforts towards achieving sustainable space utilization.

With this accomplishment under its belt, ClearSpace is now qualified to move on to the next phase of its ClearSpace-1 mission. The company will continue to work with its industrial partners on the detailed design of the satellite, procure spacecraft equipment, and manufacture the engineering model servicer satellite, with the goal of launching it as early as 2026.