NASA, DARPA Look at Orbital Debris Removal

Computer generated image showing the debris cloud around Earth.
Computer generated image showing the debris cloud around Earth.

Military agency studying space garbage service
Spaceflight Now

The Pentagon’s research and development division is studying concepts to remove dangerous space debris from orbit, an endeavor long dismissed as too costly but potentially feasible with technology advancements.


The study is called Catcher’s Mitt and will explore technically and economically feasible ways to rid Earth orbit of space junk that threatens active space missions, including the International Space Station and valuable satellites.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense’s technology development arm, is leading the Catcher’s Mitt study.

The analysis was the subject of a conference sponsored by DARPA and NASA this week in Washington. Nearly 300 participants and approximately 60 speakers attended the event.

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