Image Source: European Space Agency
Chloe Shakesby

UK Space Agency launches £800k fund for space debris removal projects

The government has today announced a new £800k fund to help develop ideas for space debris removal missions.

The UK Space Agency has revealed that it is looking to fund two active debris removal feasibility studies to tackle the estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris in our solar system, which includes old satellites, rocket bodies and tools dropped by astronauts.

The studies will be funded through the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programme, which aims to make space safer and more sustainable.

The feasibility studies will develop a debris removal mission concept and system design, with the funding open to businesses, non-profits and academics.

Jacob Geer, head of space surveillance and tracking at the UK Space Agency, commented: “Space debris is a growing issue but there are real opportunities for the UK to lead the world in developing and marketing technologies to solve the problem.

“This funding could give space firms the scope and support to make real breakthroughs.

“As we progress further into this new age of space mega-constellations, the UK Space Agency will work with the industry and international partners to ensure humanity can utilise space safely and sustainably.

“The surge in new missions to refuel, repair or reposition old spacecraft in orbit could present a real opportunity for the UK.”

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