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New funding to fuel space sustainability

Funding opportunity to clean up space debris

The UK Space Agency is funding research into refuelling an upcoming mission to remove space junk, which could help prolong the life of satellites and prevent adding more debris to the space environment.

A total of £2 million is available for feasibility studies that can demonstrate the ability to refuel a UK national debris removal mission and look at opportunities for refuelling a commercial satellite as well.

Daily life relies on space services – from navigation and weather forecasting to financial services and TV. It is therefore essential that we preserve the space environment for future generations as we do here on Earth.

Millions of defunct space objects are currently orbiting the planet – almost 37,000 measuring larger than 10cm and an estimated 130 million measuring less than 1 cm. These can be anything from old satellites to astronaut tools and even flecks of paint. The speed at which they travel means they are a constant threat to ‘live’ satellites.


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