A few months back, De Stijn Lemmens had suggested that humans would get trapped on the earth due to the increasing amounts of space junk in the planet's upper atmosphere.
As per current estimation, more than 170 million pieces of space junk are floating on the earth's upper atmosphere, and as of now, experts have tracked just 22,000 pieces. Astroscale, a Japanese company has announced that they are developing a spacecraft that will help to remove space debris from the earth's orbit.
This prototype spacecraft is exclusively designed for removing space junk and experts believe that this process could help humans to achieve interplanetary colonization with fewer hassles.
Astroscale recently revealed that it had entered the assembly, integration, and test (AIT) phase of its new spacecraft which has been named ELSA-d. Construction of this spacecraft is progressing steadily at the company's headquarters in Tokyo. If everything goes well then the spacecraft will be launched on a Soyuz rocket in mid-2020.
"We are excited to be taking this next step in building our groundbreaking mission. ELSA-d is an incredibly complex satellite as we will be demonstrating rendezvous and proximity operations technologies that have never before been tested in space," said Seita Iizuka, Project Manager for the mission in a recent statement.
It should be noted that Astroscale is not the only company that is aiming to clean up space debris from the earth's upper atmosphere. University of Surrey's RemoveDEBRIS project in the United Kingdom is another project that is aimed to remove debris from the atmosphere.
This move has a huge significance in the age of technological advancement. SpaceX led by Elon Musk is apparently sending nearly 12,000 satellites in three orbital shells by the mid-2020s. As the number of satellites and other space junk is multiplying, it is very much necessary to clean up space so that future space missions and deployment of advancement satellites can be materialized easily.