Venture Capital: Space Debris Remover ClearSpace Lands €26.7m Series A
According to Citigroup, the space industry could reach $1tn in annual revenue by 2040.
Switzerland-based startup ClearSpace is working on technology for space debris removal and has recently raised €26.7m in a Series A round to accelerate the launch of the world’s first-ever space mission to remove a moving, non-cooperative object from orbit.
The round was co-led by OTB Ventures, a Polish venture capital firm specializing in deeptech, and Swisscom Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Swiss telecom provider. (Sifted)
ClearSpace, which was founded in 2018, develops technology and services that can extend the life of active satellites and safely remove them from orbit when they’re no longer functioning.
The company is currently working on three projects contracted by public institutions: two for the European Space Agency (ESA) and one for the UK Space Agency. For ClearSpace 1, a €110m contract from ESA, the company is making a robot with claws which will be sent to space to capture a part of one of ESA’s dead rockets. The mission is planned for 2026.
According to ClearSpace, there are currently more than 5,000 objects flying around the Earth which could be classified as debris. Every year, approximately 74 new objects become space debris and there are also 3,400 active satellites which will sooner or later go out of use.
Sergey Gugkaev, the company’s chief commercial officer, said to Sifted: “No-one previously has been capturing an object that is not designed to be captured, that is not cooperative. It’s not like a space station where you have the spaceship that is approaching and docking. Both of them are designed to be docked. Here, it’s an uncontrolled object.”
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