Astroscale is seeking to solve the space debris problem with a suite of new technology, said Nick Shave, managing director for UK and Europe.

Japan-based Astroscale, founded in 2013, is developing innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of on-orbit servicing.

These include life extension, in situ space situational awareness, end of life, and active debris removal, to create sustainable space systems and mitigate the growing and hazardous buildup of debris in space.

Global problem

Speaking at the Space-Comm Expo 2022, Shave said: “Astroscale is an in-orbit servicing and sustainability company. We’re out there to try and solve the space debris issue that we have at the moment, it is a global problem.

“But we’re building technology that will go up into space, remove debris from orbit, bring it back down. We’re also be able to service satellites, extend their lives, and do many other things that our technology will enable in that new Leo [low Earth orbit] space economy.”

Astroscale recently received a £1.7 million funding boost from the UK Space Agency to continue developing its technology and capability to remove defunct satellites from LEO.

In the latest mission phase of its Cleaning Outer Space Mission through Innovative Capture (COSMIC) programme, Astroscale’s Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) and robotic debris capture capabilities will be used to remove two defunct British satellites currently orbiting Earth by 2026.
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