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AI to help world’s first removal of space debris

The European Space Agency wants to clean up the junk orbiting earth

Space is a messy place. An estimated 34,000 pieces of junk over 10 cm in diameter are currently orbiting Earth at around 10 times the speed of a bullet. If one of them hits a spacecraft, the damage could be disastrous.

In September, the International Space Station had to dodge an unknown piece of debris. With the volume of space trash rapidly growing, the chances of a collision are increasing.

The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to clean up some of the mess — with the help of AI. In 2025, it plans to launch the world’s first debris-removing space mission: ClearSpace-1.

Published October 30, 2020 — 17:27 UTC