Developers of satellite servicing technologies expect interest in refueling and life extension to come from customers in geostationary orbit and beyond, while low Earth orbit operators instead seek end-of-life disposal services.
With the technical feasibility of satellite servicing now being demonstrated, companies and other organizations in the field are now grappling with other issues, from legal and regulatory challenges to the development of standards.
Rocket Lab will launch an Astroscale mission to rendezvous with a spent rocket stage in low Earth orbit, a prelude to eventually deorbiting the stage.
Astroscale has completed the first major test of technology to capture and remove objects in orbit by releasing and then recapturing a small satellite.
Ground station providers anticipate a new era of collaboration after coming together to support Astroscale, the startup months away from conducting the world’s first privately funded debris-removal demonstration.
Astroscale announced July 27 that it will be working with rocket maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on technologies to help clean up space junk.
Safe deployment of satellites is going to be increasingly difficult in the absence of globally accepted rules and incentives to make space a sustainable environment, industry executives said.
Astroscale is joining forces with four satellite ground station providers to deliver the level of connectivity it needs for the world’s first commercial debris removal demonstration this year.
A OneWeb-led group has secured government funding to launch a beam-hopping satellite in 2022, demonstrating how a spacecraft could switch its coverage area in real-time to respond to surges in demand.
A Soyuz rocket launched 38 satellites from 18 countries on Monday, including South Korea’s CAS500-1 remote sensing satellite, in the first all-commercial rideshare mission GK Launch Services has arranged without a Russian government satellite onboard.
The launch of a Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying a South Korean remote sensing satellite and three dozen smaller satellites was delayed Saturday due to a problem with the rocket’s upper stage.
Astroscale expects to start performing its first end-to-end test of key technologies for in-orbit debris removal around the end of May, assuming a successful launch this month of the Tokyo-based startup’s ELSA-d demonstration mission.
Gen. David Thompson said it would make sense for the government to pay companies to clean up space junk if such services existed.
Astroscale plans to launch the first commercial active debris removal mission, End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration in March on a Soyuz rocket operated by GK Launch Services from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Astroscale Holdings Inc. raised $51 million in a Series E investment round, bringing total funding for the Tokyo-based orbital debris removal startup to $191 million.
Astroscale is acquiring the rights to Effective Space Solutions' satellite servicing vehicle known as Space Drone.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has selected Astroscale to send a spacecraft into orbit to inspect a discarded Japanese rocket upper stage, a step that would pave the way for a debris-removal mission.
Ron Lopez, president of Astroscale U.S.: 'The Air Force is talking about safety, congestion and how that affects resilience'
Within a year, Astroscale plans to begin a complex series of demonstrations to show the startup’s spacecraft can grab a piece of space debris and dispose of it in the atmosphere.