CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Shares in satellite servicing and debris removal company Astroscale jumped in the first day of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange June 5, giving the company a valuation of about $1 billion.

Astroscale started trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market, a portion of the exchange for companies with higher growth potential but also higher risk, at 850 yen ($5.46) per share. Those shares closed at 1,375 yen after trading as high as 1,581 yen during the day.

The company announced plans May 1 to go public, offering 20.8 million shares. The closing price gave the Tokyo-based company a market cap of 155.4 billion yen, or $1 billion.

Astroscale, with offices in France, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, is developing several systems to extend the life of satellites and to actively remove debris. The company reported 1.79 billion yen in revenue in the fiscal year that ended in April 2023 but a net loss of 9.26 billion yen.

The company is currently operating the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) mission, a spacecraft designed to approach and inspect an H-2A upper stage left in low Earth orbit. The ADRAS-J spacecraft approached within several hundred meters of the upper stage in late April, although the company has not provided any recent updates on its performance.

ADRAS-J is the first phase of the Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration (CRD2) program by the Japanese space agency JAXA. The second phase of CRD2 will fly a mission to that upper stage, grapple it and deorbit it. JAXA selected Astroscale for that mission in April, but neither the agency nor the company disclosed the value of the award.

The company previously flew its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale demonstration (ELSA-d) mission to test rendezvous and proximity operations. A follow-on mission, ELSA-M, is projected to launch next year to test the ability to deorbit a OneWeb satellite.

Astroscale U.S. received a $25.5 million Space Force contract last year to develop a refueling spacecraft. The Astroscale Prototype Servicer for Refueling, or APS-R, spacecraft will operate in geostationary orbit and be able to perform multiple refueling missions there using hydrazine propellant, operating in conjunction with a fuel depot developed by Orbit Fab. APS-R may be used to refuel Astroscale’s Life Extension In-Orbit (LEXI) spacecraft, which will dock with and extend the life of satellites in GEO.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...