UKSA Awards £ 3.9 Million For Space Debris Removal Projects26th Sep 2022
UK Space Agency awarded £ 4 million on 26th September for projects related to solving the problem of debris in space. Astroscale’s UK and Europe subsidiary, Astroscale Ltd. was awarded £ 1.7 million and Swiss-UK company ClearSpace received £ 2.2 million.
Astroscale and COSMIC
UKSA awarded Astroscale its grant to move forward with the Cleaning Outer Space Mission through Innovative Capture (COSMIC) project. Under the COSMIC program, Astroscale will send a satellite to capture and remove two non-operating British satellites. The project calls for the removal to occur by 2026. Astroscale is leading a consortium of UK-based companies. Altogether there are 10 UK-based partners from giants such as Thales Alenia Space UK to Satellite Applications Catapult.
ClearSpace and CLEAR
ClearSpace will also lead a group of partners to remove two non-operating satellites from orbit. The company’s Clearing of the LEO Environment with Active Removal (CLEAR) project expects to finish the design stage by the end of 2023, according to a company press release. The company notes that it will remove the two satellites based on knowledge gained from previous active debris removal projects.
UKSA and the Space Debris focus
UKSA is making space debris removal a primary goal for the UK, despite the fact that the U.S. and China both have more satellites in the air than Britain. The emphasis comes from more than the technical need to remove potential hazards from the path of operating space platforms. King Charles III was known for speaking up on environmental topics, including those related to space, when he was Prince of Wales. Now, as King Charles III, he will have to refrain from adding to the public’s cry regarding the economy. However, his record regarding the environment will continue to speak for him and lend weight when it comes to funding projects such as this.