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Harwell’s Astroscale successfully launches Elsa-D mission

15:04 24 March in Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, News, Oxfordshire, Talent and Innovation

Oxfordshire-based Astroscale, market leader in satellite servicing, has announced the End-of-Life Service’s successful launch.

Controlled and operated from its Harwell Campus facility this launch represents the world’s first commercial mission and a step towards the removal of orbital space debris.

Why? With over 3,000 working satellites in orbit already, and a schedule for many more, space debris from old satellites and hardware is becoming an increasing problem and threat to operating systems. Read more here.

John Auburn, Managing Director of Astroscale UK and Group Chief Commercial Officer comments,

“This mission will prepare the way for Astroscale to scale-up our commercial debris removal services, with the first semi-autonomous robotic magnetic capture of space debris. We are very proud of the team who have the mission control and ground systems for ELSA-d, enabling us to perform complex manoeuvres to demonstrate the release and capture of this debris”.


Paul Britton, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Chamber, “Astroscale are at the vanguard of a globally competitive, world leading space cluster based here across the Thames Valley. This unique partnership is providing opportunities for businesses like Astroscale to drive forward the technology, capability and regulation needed to ensure space, and space related technology, is front and centre in the UK’s drive for economic and productivity growth”.


Amanda Solloway, UK Science Minister said “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. 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.”


Read more here.

To find out more about the Space-sector in the Thames Valley, click here.