We may be able to clean up the things on earth, but cleaning up everything in space is a bit difficult task. However, there are methods to remove junk from space and scientists are behind its experiments to bring up mission to clean space debris for the past few years. Humans have invented methods to clean up the earth’s dirt and junk. Similarly, humans have also invented methods to clean up junk in space, BBC reported.
Magnets are used for cleaning up space debris and it is in the form of materials. The name of the space cleaner using a magnet is called Elsa, which enables magnetic capture of tumbling objects using a specialized capture mechanism. Elsa is a satellite that uses magnetic attraction technology to take up the space dirt and cleans the outer space. It is the world’s first innovative commercial space mission to start a debris removal system.
After the cleaning procedure is done, it tosses back into the earth’s orbit. While toying back, Elsa turns naturally to catch fire where it gets ended up. With Elsa, a total of 9800 tonnes of debris floating around the earth’s orbit can be cleaned using the magnetic flung technology.
It was a Japanese bae company Astrocale that developed the innovative mission called Elsa to clean up space. They started with Elsa-d to experiment with the space cleaning process using magnets. They used the Elsa-d which was having 2 parts in it. During the trial, the company used a smaller satellite and used a magnet to recapture it.
The Elsa-d mission consists of two spacecraft — a 386-pound (175 kilograms) “servicer” and a 37-pound (17 kg) CubeSat “client” outfitted with a magnetic docking plate. Elsa was launched in March 2021 but citing a threat to humanity’s exploration, Astroscale suspended its release and asked to hold. However, in August 2021, the launch was conducted with an experiment, and it became the first private company to ace an orbital capture experiment.
The space debris which was left in the earth’s orbit after each satellite or mission launch would be a high number that is even hard to believe for a normal human-handed cleaning process. The debris will be traveling around the orbit at a speed of 27000 km per hour.
However, Elsa is not the only satellite to clean up space. Clearspace, a Swiss startup that provides in-orbit servicing and space debris removal was selected by ESA in 2019 for this mission. Its first attempt, ClearSpace-1, is planned for launch in 2025. The craft’s tentacle-like arms will grab Vespa, an ESA upper stage rocket left behind in 2013.