UK Space Agency Is Ready to Fund £800,000 to Space Debris Removal Studies12th Jun 2021
The UK Space Agency invites aerospace agencies to offer their suggestions on space debris removal. Companies chosen with their space junk clean-up ideas will have a share of a total £800,000 grant. This is not the first initiative aimed at addressing the pressing concern of space debris, and it looks like this initiative will not be the last.
The Growing Need for Space Debris Removal
Space debris removal is necessary because around 900,000 pieces of space junk are already circling our planet’s orbit. Rotating at high speed, these pieces can endanger currently operational satellites and other spacecraft. Space debris includes not only natural dust and sand but also spent satellites, rocket component parts, and other man made elements.
Latest UK Space Agency Initiatives to Clean Space Junk
The UK Space Agency is looking to initiate two studies on space debris removal feasibility. The studies will need to create a mission concept and system design. All interested companies that have actionable ideas on cleaning up space junk were asked to submit their applications before 13th July 2021. The total UK Space Agency budget for this mission is £800,000.
In 2020, the UKSA already awarded over £1 million to track space junk. Besides, it granted £2.5m to Astroscale to design the technology to de-orbit defunct satellites.
These initiatives are part of a new sector in the aerospace industry development. As ever more companies and international organisations emphasise the importance of sustainable space use, the UKSA keeps up with the trend.
Given that the UK space industry is on the rise, space debris removal initiatives are worth pursuing. According to the latest announcement from the UK Space Agency, cleaning up space junk could benefit society and invest billions of pounds into the country’s growing space sector.