The European Space Agency is planning to send a robot out into space to clean it of debris, which mainly consists of the countless satellites sent into orbit over the past few decades.
The vast majority of these “junk” satellites – communications, weather, military – have operational lifetimes lasting a few years – about five to 10 years, after which there is no system for bringing them back or clear them in any way. (See simulation of space debris around Earth below.)
Some have previously proposed to build robots that can travel to those obsolete satellites to perhaps fix them or make use of them somehow or at least maintain them so they are operational for longer, but that is an idea that is still in development, although also mentioned as part of ESA’s plan. [Read more…] about European Space Agency to launch robot to clean up space