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+ - The Swiss Plan on Clearing Space Junk with a Giant Claw->

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pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "There are about 19,000 pieces of space debris larger than 5 cm currently being tracked by NASA—debris that multiplies when other debris collides. There's now way around it: eventually we're going to have to clean up the floating mess. Which is exactly what a new Swiss uber-satellite intends to do.

Called CleanSpace One, the monster has been dubbed the "janitor satellite." It's been designed to match a defunct satellite's orbital plane, grip it with a giant mechanical claw, and pull it back down into the Earth's atmosphere. Both satellites would then burn up upon reentry.

The Swiss scientists hope to launch CleanSpace One on its trial mission in under five years. The first target is the Swisscube, Switzerland's first working satellite, which was put into orbit in 2009, and completed its imaging mission in 2011. Even though the first CleanSpace One will disintegrate upon re-entry, the Swiss are planning a whole family of space janitors. Eventually, they may be able to dispose more than one satellite at a time."

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The Swiss Plan on Clearing Space Junk with a Giant Claw

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