Separate from the investment, the companies have agreed to collaborate in the joint development and manufacturing of sustainably designed satellite buses for Japanese national security constellations.
The satellite buses will be equipped with an Astroscale docking plate, similar to a car tow hook, with a standardized interface. This allows other spacecraft to dock with and move or remove satellites if they are unable to deorbit themselves at the end of their operational lives. Preparing satellites in this sustainable manner minimizes costs and maximizes safety for future on-orbit servicing.
“The world depends on satellites more than ever before, so if the orbital environment is disrupted or becomes unusable, our lives will be irrevocably changed,” said Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO of Astroscale. “Space is a special domain shared by the equally important commercial, civil and defense sectors. We are proud to partner with Mitsubishi Electric to assure that our orbital environment remains safe, secure and sustainable, and that more objects operating in space are designed for future servicing and removal.”