Swiss to Launch ‘Janitor Satellite’

    Image #: 16924849    epa03106783 Swiss Claude Nicollier, former astronaut and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), speaks about the launch of 'CleanSpace One', a project to develop and build the first installment of a family of satellites specially designed to clean up space debris, during a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, 15 February 2012.  EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT /LANDOV

    Jean-Christophe Bott, EPA / Landov

    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.

    Read it at Associated Press