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Space junk cleanup satellite launching on Swiss space plane in 2018

02 October 2013

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A Switzerland-based spaceflight company is finalising plans with Canada over a potential launch site for a new private space plane, which is slated to launch a satellite to clean up space junk by 2018.

The company, Swiss Space Systems (S3), plans to launch the new Clean Space One satellite using the European Suborbital Reusable Shuttle, a small space plane the firm is developing for low-cost launches off the back of a modified Airbus A300 jumbo jet.

CleanSpace One is a 66-pound (30 kilograms) technology demonstration spacecraft designed to link up with Switzerland's out-of-commission SwissCube nanosatellite - a small cube that measures 3.93 inches (10 centimetres) on each side - and safely de-orbit the target craft. The mission aims to demonstrate orbital identification and rendezvous with an uncooperative target and has an estimated cost of about 15 million Swiss Francs ($16 million).


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