ClearSpace, the in-orbit satellite servicing company announced today a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with LeoLabs, a commercial provider of low Earth orbit (LEO) Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM) services. The MOU recognizes the two companies’ shared vision of a safe and sustainable space ecosystem and their mutual efforts in making this vision a reality.
This strategic partnership comes at a time when both companies are finding commercial success within government and industrial markets. As examples, in 2022 ClearSpace received a Phase B demo contract from the UK Space Agency to demonstrate its active debris removal technology and LeoLabs received a contract to help support the development of a U.S., civil-led STM prototype from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The partnership announced today signals a desire to build on this mutual success and previous collaborative efforts, such as the joint LEO Kinetic Space Safety Workshop — hosted in May 2022 at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne). The MOU also serves as a formal declaration of ClearSpace and LeoLabs’ intent to work together on several new initiatives. These initiatives include thought leadership opportunities that promote space safety and responsible stewardship of the space environment, as well as business opportunities that promote their services and programs. In addition, they have agreed to exchange advisory board appointments, with Dr. Timothy Maclay from ClearSpace becoming a member of LeoLabs’ Commercial Strategic Advisory Board and LeoLabs’ Dr. Darren McKnight joining ClearSpace’s Advisory Board.
“With the acceleration of commercial space activity, the industry is developing approaches to create a more circular space ecosystem,” said ClearSpace CEO and Co-founder Luc Piguet. “LeoLabs is providing data and services that are critical to operational safety, and we are excited to be working with them to address comprehensively the complex challenges of space safety and sustainability.”
“As the traffic in low Earth orbit grows, innovative, scalable solutions are needed, including active debris removal technologies and in-orbit servicing,” said LeoLabs CEO Dan Ceperley. “ClearSpace is an industry leader in both, and we’re proud to kick off a partnership with them to build a safer, more sustainable future in space.”
This strategic partnership between ClearSpace and LeoLabs will catalyze the development of effective, multi-faceted strategies to address the growing debris problem in space and mitigate the risks posed to operational spacecraft.