NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar) and Astroscale have announced at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2022, that they are forming a strategic partnership to further support space sustainability. This partnership will combine NorthStar’s precise space-based resident space object tracking with Astroscale’s enhanced spacecraft navigation and capture capability for on-orbit servicing.
Under this agreement, Astroscale and NorthStar will leverage their respective know-how, expertise, and unique services to highlight their shared commitment to space sustainability. Together, NorthStar and Astroscale will cooperate to demonstrate the benefits of combining precise In-Space Situational Awareness (ISSA) services to support reliable on-orbit servicing in low Earth orbit.
In 2023, NorthStar will launch the first commercial Space Situational Awareness service to deliver higher precision detection, tracking, and coverage for all near-Earth orbital regimes. NorthStar’s Space Information and Intelligence (Si2) services will serve all satellite operators to better manage their fleets, enhance spaceflight safety, and ensure space sustainability.
Astroscale is advancing its End-of-Life (EOL) Services, most recently tested during its ELSA-d mission, which successfully magnetically captured its demonstration client spacecraft in August 2021. The latest ELSA-M servicer is in rapid development for launch in 2024 in partnership with OneWeb, the UK Space Agency, and the European Space Agency. The state-of-the-art ELSA-M servicer will capture and retire multiple client spacecraft during a single mission. This collaboration will advance specific ISSA services required to support the tracking and capture of the Client spacecraft, as well as provide essential space-safety information about other space objects in orbit. Astroscale will endeavor to partner with NorthStar as a supplier of SSA services for future Astroscale missions.
“NorthStar is proud to join forces with Astroscale as part of an essential community that is committed to advancing innovation and commercial services for space sustainability,” said Stewart Bain, CEO & Founder of NorthStar Earth & Space. “Combining NorthStar’s space-based coverage with Astroscale’s impressive on-orbit servicing capabilities is a very powerful response to immediate challenges in all near-Earth orbits.”
“We’re delighted to announce this partnership with NorthStar to develop our in-space situational awareness technology and data,” said Nick Shave, Managing Director of Astroscale. “We see an opportunity to enhance our spacecraft servicer and client satellite navigation & tracking capability with support from Northstar’s Space Information and Intelligence Services. We’re keen to leverage our Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) and satellite capture expertise and advance our commercial on-orbit debris removal services with the benefit of both ground-derived and in-space data. This is a great partnership that we look forward to harnessing with our forthcoming ELSA-M mission to clean up space and protect our orbital environment for future generations.”
Click here to learn about space sustainability from Astroscale.
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