Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, will launch its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale demonstration (ELSA-d) mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, March 20, at 6:07 am (UTC). ELSA-d will launch on a Soyuz rocket operated by GK Launch Services.
“Pre-launch activities have been successfully completed, and ELSA-d is now integrated on the rocket and ready to prove our technical capabilities to the world,” said Nobu Okada, Astroscale Founder and CEO. “This landmark mission will also enable better-informed policy developments and drive the business case for on-orbit services such as end-of-life and active debris removal. This is an incredible moment, not only for our team, but for the entire satellite servicing industry, as we work towards maturing the debris removal market and ensuring the responsible use of our orbits.”
The launch marks the world’s first commercial mission to demonstrate the core technologies necessary for space debris docking and removal, a major step towards expanding on-orbit servicing and achieving Astroscale’s vision of safe and sustainable space for the benefit of future generations. The ELSA-d mission, licensed by the UK Space Agency, is also a leading test case for licensing of future missions undertaking complex rendezvous operations in space, such as active debris removal and end-of-life services.
“The removal of hazardous space debris is not only environmentally important but is also a huge commercial opportunity for the UK, with companies like Astroscale leading the way in demonstrating how we can make space safer for everyone,” said Amanda Solloway, UK Science Minister. “I am proud the UK Government not only helped make this mission a reality but is Europe’s largest investor in helping with space clean-up. As we build back better, we will continue to drive growth by investing in the technologies that have made today’s breakthrough possible.”
Astroscale will host a launch livestream (see English translation instructions in the event description) with Okada, other Astroscale speakers and special guests starting at 2:00 pm (JST) on 20 March.