SSC and Bradford ECAPS Sign MoU Regarding Commercial Orbital Debris Removal Services

DUBAI, UAE (SSC PR) — Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and Bradford Space / ECAPS, a leading manufacturer of non-toxic propulsion systems, have signed an MoU for the collaborative offering of orbital debris removal services. Starting in 2024, SSC and Bradford Space will offer orbital debris removal as a commercial service from Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden, mainland Europe. The agreement was signed today at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2021 in Dubai.

The new services will address the issue of common orbits becoming increasingly congested as more actors are accessing space, creating a hazard to other spacecraft using these orbits. A Bradford Space satellite bus, named ‘Square Rocket’, with significant delta-V capability will be inserted into orbit via launch from the Esrange Space Center to then rendezvous with and deorbit the debris. The target orbits are high-inclination polar, including the common Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

The orbital debris removal service will be provided from the new spaceport facility now being built at Esrange Space Center – ready for launch in 2022. The service will showcase Sweden as a leader in debris mitigation and an advocate for a sustainable use of space.

“Bradford Space / ECAPS is very excited to team up with SSC for this venture, which is based on exceptional complementary capabilities from both Swedish entities”, says Patrick van Put, Managing Director for Bradford Space European operations.

“We are proud to collaborate with trusted partner Bradford Space / ECAPS to offer another valuable service from one of the world’s most versatile space centers in northern Sweden”, says Henrik Pettersson, Head of Business Development for SSC’s Science and Launch Services.

Earlier this year, SSC launched a new program within Space Situational Awareness (SSA), aiming at contributing to safer and more sustainable space operations. The program will consist of several initiatives addressing detection, tracking, identification of man-made space objects as well as processing, cataloging and analysis of SSA data. Read more here.