Astroscale raises $ 109 million Series F round


With this latest round, Astroscale has raised $ 300 million, providing the company with capital to move forward on several satellite maintenance and debris disposal initiatives. This includes its Astroscale End-of-Life Services Demonstration Mission (ELSA-d), which in August demonstrated the ability to release and capture an object in orbit. Another demonstration of ELSA-d’s ability to capture a free-falling object is expected to take place before the end of the year. “This latest round of funding will dramatically accelerate our ability to set up an in-orbit maintenance routine by 2030,” Nobu Okada, founder and CEO of Astroscale, said in a statement. “It also shows that investors around the world recognize the enormous potential of the emerging market for in-orbit services, which will revolutionize the future of space.”

“The long-term sustainable health of the space industry is becoming increasingly important with tens of thousands of satellite launches planned in the coming years,” said Mark Boggett, CEO of Seraphim Space, in a statement regarding the cycle. funding. “The ball is now rolling firmly on regulation and self-regulation to protect the space environment. We believe this is the optimal time to invest in this emerging market which will be worth billions over the next decades. “There are a lot of challenges that we have to overcome, but it is also a very exciting time,” said Ron Lopez, president and CEO of Astroscale US, during a panel discussion at the ASCEND conference on November 17. “We’re starting to see a trend with satellites and satellite maintenance, with satellites providing value in orbit to other satellites. When you see more of them, it will be that knee in the curve for this space saving of a thousand. billion dollars that everyone is talking about. “

Astroscale hinted in its announcement that it is looking beyond satellite maintenance and active debris removal into other aspects of what is known as maintenance, assembly and manufacturing. in orbit, or OSAM. “This expansion of services will include in-orbit manufacturing, as well as satellite assembly, refueling, recycling and more in the near future,” the company said in its statement.

Astroscale and Virgin Orbit announced a partnership on November 17 to examine potential cooperation in space sustainability. This could include the launch of 10 Astroscale missions on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne over the next decade, as well as the study of a future joint satellite maintenance mission. An Astroscale executive said at the time that talks between the two companies were still in a preliminary phase, with no firm timeline or launch purchases. In addition to ELSA-d, Astroscale has a contract with the Japanese space agency JAXA for the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) mission, with an initial phase under development to inspect a Japanese upper stage in view of a potential deorbitation. this. The company won a contract from the UK Space Agency in October to study the desorbiting of two defunct UK satellites, possibly including a OneWeb satellite that failed last year. Astroscale’s US and Israeli offices are working on a geostationary satellite service system called Life Extension In-Orbit.

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