We’ve sent a man to the moon, a robot to Mars, and a donut has floated around space for a little bit before landing back safely. Now, the Swiss have decided to take the next step — they’re sending Pac-Man into space. To be completely clear, it’s not exactly Pac-Man, just something with similar characteristics that will be sent into space to fight the good fight: cleaning up all the trash humans and satellites leave behind.
The Swiss “Clean Space One” project has come up with a cleanup satellite to capture space debris. In what has been dubbed a Pac-Man solution, it will capture an old satellite before destroying it in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Engineers from Lausanne’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) have been working round the clock to come up with the right technology to clear space junk, without the device becoming another piece of garbage.
After three years of research, engineers have come up with a new space cleanup device to be sent into orbit. It is expected to deploy a conical net to catch an old SwissCube satellite. The net will unfold and then close with a piece of space garbage trapped inside. Both objects will then combust in the atmosphere, scientists say.
The mission’s objective is, “to increase the awareness that orbital debris is a problem and we are doing something about it,” said Muriel Richard, of the EPFL Space Engineering Center.
Watch the video below to learn more: