Astroscale Ltd. has extended its order from AAC Clyde Space for its end-of-life space debris removal service, ELSA-M, with additional hardware and functionality valued at GBP 0.611 M (approx. SEK 7.7 M). The order follows orders announced earlier in 2022 for a Sirius computer and a Starbuck power system totaling GBP 1.8 M (approx. SEK 23.0 M).
Traffic in Low Earth Orbit is continually increasing. To respond to the growth and vital services provided by large satellite constellations, the space industry is developing new practices to reduce space debris and clear the orbital highways. In May 2021, Astroscale UK selected AAC Clyde Space to co-engineer a satellite platform for a space debris removal service known as End-of-Live Services by Astroscale Multi-mission (ELSA-M). As part of this project, AAC Clyde Space designed and updated its Starbuck power subsystem, Sirius avionics, and other systems for inclusion on this specific mission in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
The ELSA-M satellite servicer will be designed and optimized to remove multiple pieces of debris from LEO in a single orbital mission. The development of the ELSA-M commercial service is supported by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency as part of the ESA Sunrise program.
Designed to remove its first defunct LEO satellite in 2024, this latest mission will use knowledge gained from the ELSA-d in-orbit demonstration in 2021-2022 which tested Astroscale’s magnetic capture system, rendezvous and proximity operations and on-board systems successfully.