ESA awards $111 million to startup for robot to clear space debris

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded an around $111-million contract to Switzerland-based startup ClearSpace to carry out a debris-clearing mission in space. A four-armed robot will latch onto debris before diving back down to Earth, where both the machine and the junk will “burn up in the atmosphere”, ESA said. The ‘ClearSpace-1’ mission is planned for launch in 2025.