Astroscale’s End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) successfully tested its ability to capture its client spacecraft using the servicer’s magnetic capture system, in a demonstration performed on Wednesday, August 25 (UTC)
A major challenge of debris removal, and on-orbit servicing in general, is docking with or capturing a client object; this test
When ELSA-d was launched and commissioned, a mechanical locking mechanism held its servicer and client
The client was then separated from the servicer for the first time and captured to validate the magnetic capture system. During the release and capture period, Astroscale’s Mission Operations and Ground Segment teams checked out and calibrated the rendezvous sensors and verified relevant ground system infrastructure and operational procedures.
The successful completion of this phase paves the way for the remainder of Astroscale’s pioneering
“This has been a fantastic first step in validating all the key technologies for rendezvous and proximity operations and capture in space,” said Nobu Okada, Founder & CEO of Astroscale. “We are proud to have proven our magnetic capture capabilities and excited to drive on-orbit servicing forward with ELSA-d.”
Founded in 2013, Astroscale is developing innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of on-orbit servicing, including 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. Astroscale is also defining business cases and working with government and commercial stakeholders to develop norms, regulations, and incentives for the responsible use of space.