Return to space:
OMEGA joins satellite clean-up mission
By: OMEGA International Press Office | Jan 2022
OMEGA has joined forces with ClearSpace in support of their landmark mission to remove dangerous debris from space.
The makers of the first watch worn on the moon are returning to space, only this time, on a vital clean-up mission. An exciting new chapter in a distinguished history that began in 1965, when OMEGA’s Speedmaster became the watch qualified by NASA for all manned space missions.
In line with the brand’s pioneering spirit, OMEGA is collaborating with ClearSpace to perform the first ever capture and removal of an uncontrolled space satellite: stage one of a long-term project to create an affordable service for space debris removal.
Today there are thousands of satellites orbiting Earth, a huge percentage of them “failed”. These uncontrollable objects present risks of explosions or collisions with other satellites. Humankind’s next big challenge is keeping space clean in order to ensure sustainable growth in the future – and OMEGA is thrilled and proud to be part of the solution.
OMEGA President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann called the partnership, “The logical next step for a brand with a proud history of both space exploration and Earth conservation” and described the ClearSpace initiative as, “One of the most important, inspiring and exciting projects since the launch of the Apollo missions.”
It is not the first or only time OMEGA ventured beyond its brief as a watchmaker to inspire positive change. OMEGA’s partnership with GoodPlanet Foundation and its founder Yann Arthus-Bertrand has led to numerous world-changing documentaries and joint conservation projects under the banner “Time for the Planet”. OMEGA also supports Nekton, a not-for-profit research foundation committed to the protection of the world’s oceans.
As well as doing its part to help clean up land and sea, OMEGA plays a role in the mapping of the ocean floor, through its support for the 5 Deeps Expedition: Victor Vescovo’s recordbreaking research missions to the deepest parts of the planet.
With its current partnerships and newly announced support for ClearSpace, the Swiss watchmaker asserts its commitment to creating a more sustainable future, extending the reach of its influence from the bottom of the sea and the surface of the planet - to the crowded corners of space.
ClearSpace SA is developing technologies to capture and deorbit obsolete objects threatening space operations and provides in-orbit services to support institutions and commercial operators to accomplish their space sustainability. In 2020, ClearSpace signed a service contract with the European Space Agency worth 86M€ for the first space debris removal mission, in 2025.
OMEGA President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann with Swiss astronaut and member of the Swatch Group Board of Directors, Prof. Claude Nicollier and the CEO of ClearSpace, Luc Piguet.
Artistic impressions of the ClearSpace-1 mission: capture of an obsolete and tumbling object in space.Image credit: ClearSpace