Astroscale, JAXA Sign Research Agreement on Orbital Debris

TOKYO (Jaxa PR) — ASTROSCALE Japan Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “ASTROSCALE”) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency signed a joint research agreement (“the agreement”) regarding the removal of space debris.

Under the terms of the agreement, ASTROSCALE will have access to JAXA’s technologies that examine the methods to approach and capture space debris. The technologies will facilitate ASTROSCALE’s development of ELSA-d, a technology demonstration satellite scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2019. ASTROSCALE and JAXA will also work together to validate the imagery of simulated debris obtained through the ELSA-d on-orbit mission. JAXA will not take direct part in the development, launch, or operation of ELSA-d, but will be involved in the research and development of relevant component technologies.

It is estimated that more than 750,000 pieces of space debris over a centimeter in size are currently in orbit, some of which are the result of breakups and collisions of spacecraft. As the continuously rising debris population poses an immediate threat to the orbital environment, taking countermeasures is urgently needed.

JAXA, in cooperation with universities and the private sector, will further establish the technology to eliminate space debris. Through this endeavor, JAXA hopes to protect the space environment and realize sustainable utilization of space.

ASTROSCALE Raises $25 Million Series C Round Led by Private Companies

ADRAS spacecraft (Credit: ASTROSCALE)

SINGAPORE, July 14, 2017 (ASTROSCALE PR) — ASTROSCALE PTE. LTD. (ASTROSCALE), a pioneering space company with a goal of mitigating space debris, completed a Series C round and raised $53 million in total to date. Private companies, ANA Holdings Inc. (ANA – parent company of ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS Co., Ltd.) and OSG Corporation, join recurring venture capital investors (Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, JAFCO Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital) alongside new financier aSTART Co., Ltd.

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Cleaning up Orbital Debris: Q&A With ASTROSCALE CEO Nobu Okada


The Japanese space agency JAXA has published the following Q&A with Nobu Okada, founder and CEO of ASTROSCALE PTE. The company is focused on cleaning up orbital debris.

— It’s been said that you are the first private enterprise in the to attempt to clean up space debris.

Our mission is to secure long-term spaceflight safely by solving space debris issues. To achieve this, ASTROSCALE will extend its business model to a debris removing technology after gaining an understanding of the present space environment. As our first step, we investigate how much space debris exist in outer space. The size of space debris varies, and it is important to ascertain its density etc.

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ASTROSCALE Secures $35 Million Investment for Space Debris Removal

ADRAS spacecraft (Credit: ASTROSCALE)
ADRAS spacecraft (Credit: ASTROSCALE)

SINGAPORE, 1 March 2016 (ASTROSCALE PR) – Singapore-based satellite services company, ASTROSCALE, has secured up to USD 30 million in funding from venture capital investor, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) as well as USD 5 million from recurring investors JAFCO Co. Ltd. and other third party investors.

The capital injection will be used to secure the development and testing of innovative space propulsion systems, a powerful adhesive-based spacecrafts’ docking system as well as key technologies used for space debris removal and spacecrafts’ End-of-Life Operations. These systems are essential to perform cutting-edge spacecrafts’ proximity operations, docking, de-orbiting services and controlled atmospheric reentry.

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Astrobotic to Launch Time Capsule to Moon

pocari_sweat_logoPITTSBURGH, Penn. (Astrobotic PR) — Astrobotic’s mission to Lacus Mortis is aiming for several firsts – first demonstration of autonomous precision landing within 100m, first flyover and circumnavigation of a lunar skylight, first winner of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and now, delivery of the first marketing campaign to the Moon.  Astrobotic is taking Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s “Lunar Dream” time capsule as a payload on its inaugural mission. The Japanese beverage maker plans to send their powdered sports drink, Pocari Sweat, along with the dreams and wishes of children from around the globe, to the surface of the Moon.

The “Lunar Dream” time capsule is a titanium Pocari Sweat can constructed by Singapore-based Astroscale, a start-up with a mission to remove space debris.  The can will contain 120 titanium plates laser-engraved with handwritten dreams submitted by children from Asia and elsewhere. The can will also contain a powder that, when combined with water, becomes a serving of Pocari Sweat. This shipment will be the first commercial product delivered to another world for marketing purposes.

Otsuka “hopes the stunt will inspire young people to become astronauts, so they can travel the 380,000 kilometers to our closest celestial neighbor, crack open the can, and consume the powder inside.”  Children’s messages can be submitted through the Lunar Dream Website through May 2015.

Astrobotic will deposit the time capsule when it lands at Lacus Mortis (Latin for “Lake of Death”), a plain of basaltic lava flows in the northeast part of the Moon that contains a lunar pit that is a suspected skylight.

Astrobotic to Deliver Lunar Dream Time Capsule to the Moon

astrobotic-prototype3-side-sm
Pittsburgh, 17th February 2014 (Astrobotic PR) – Singapore-based ASTROSCALE PTE. LTD. has contracted with Astrobotic Technology to send the Lunar Dream time capsule on its October 2015 lunar mission. The time capsule contains the popular Japanese sports drink, Pocari Sweat, which is sold across Asia and in much of the Middle East. The first commercial beverage to be delivered to the Moon’s surface, the Lunar Dream time capsule will be placed on the lunar surface by Astrobotic’s Griffin lander after it touches down in the Lacus Mortis region of the Moon.

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