ESA, the European Space Agency, signed a EUR 86 million contract with ClearSpace SA to purchase a unique service, the first removal of an item of space debris from orbit. As a result, in 2025, ClearSpace SA will launch the first active debris removal mission, ClearSpace-1, which will rendezvous, capture and bring down for re-entry a Vespa payload adaptor. With this contract, a critical milestone for establishing a new commercial sector in space has been achieved. Purchasing the mission in an end-to-end service contract, rather that developing an ESA-defined spacecraft for in-house operation, represents a new way for ESA to do business. The contract is used as a first and a possible new business model for ESA in doing business.
Tavernier Tschanz advised ClearSpace SA in this transaction.