Space net – Astroscale's Space Sweepers aren't the only ones looking to develop technology for clearing space junk. The European Space Agency (ESA) is planning a space debris removal mission in 2024. One approach being explored by the ESA is capturing space debris in a net.
Space net – The nets will attempt to capture some of the 7,000 tons of estimated space junk orbiting the planet.
Robotic arm – Another potential solution being explored by the ESA is the use of a robotic arm.
LIDAR – Capturing space debris requires close targeting which could be achieved by LIDAR, a technique that uses pulsating light to measure distances.
Cleanspace One – Cleanspace One is a satellite in development by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne. Originally the design featured a claw, but scientists found a net-system would be a more effective system to capture and deorbit space debris.
Cleanspace One – The satellite is targeted to launch for 2018.
"Fishing net" – The RemoveDEBRIS team from Surrey Space Centre has designed a system using a net -- much like a fishing net -- to capture debris. The debris would then be dragged behind the space craft as it returns to Earth.
Space sail – Another possible solution being tested by the Surrey Space Centre is a "dragsail" pushed by photons of light from the sun. This sail would then drive the junk out of its orbit, causing it to spiral back into the Earth's atmosphere.
Burning space debris – Upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, the pieces of space debris will burn up.