Leave it to the Swiss to always be cleaning up everyone else’s mess. Switzerland is taking the matters of outer space into its own intergalactic hands, announcing Wednesday that it will launch an $11 million “janitor satellite” to sweep up an ever-dirtying outer space. The satellite, named CleanSpace One, will launch in the next three to five years and will be tasked with cleaning up “space junk,” including two out-of-use orbiting Swiss satellites. NASA reports that upward of 500,000 pieces of debris—rocket stages, broken satellites—are orbiting earth, many traveling at up to 17,500 miles per hour. Switzerland hopes to eventually “offer and sell a whole family” of janitor satellites.
CLEAN IT UP Jean-Christophe Bott, EPA / Landov