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Satnews Daily
July 17th, 2017

ASTROSCALE Cleans Up ... Raises $25 Million in Series C Funding With Goal to Clean Up Space 

A creative and determined Japanese space company is financially closer to delivering satellites that will help clean up space debris and manage defunct satellites with recent funding of $25 million in a Series C round as well as previous funding now total $53 million.

ASTROSCALE PTE. LTD. (ASTROSCALE), described as a pioneering space company with a goal of mitigating space debris has completed a Series C round and raised $53 million in total to date.  The private companies investing include:

  • ANA Holdings Inc. (ANA - parent company of ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS Co., Ltd.) a private company
  • OSG Corporation a private company
  • Innovation Network Corporation of Japan a recurring venture capital investor
  • JAFCO Co., Ltd. a recurring venture capital investor
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Capital a recurring venture capital investor 
  • aSTART Co., Ltd. a new financier

ASTROSCALE raised $53 million in total to date with a goal of mitigating space debris. Models of IDEA OSG 1 and ELSA-d are shown.

Now with the Series C funding ASTROSCALE can further expand its international presence, leadership, and competitive standing. ASTROSCALE has recently incorporated an office in the United Kingdom to address global market standards for on-orbit satellite servicing, and the company will appoint a new Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), who has played a significant role in the field of space policy in a variety of influential positions regarding international relations on August 1, 2017. The new Group COO will help lead global partnerships and provide strategic direction and management towards further collaboration.

ASTROSCALE has two missions currently under active development: IDEA OSG 1, a microsatellite that will monitor sub-millimeter sized debris, and ELSA-d, a technology demonstration mission for end-of-life service management of defunct satellites. IDEA OSG 1 and ELSA-d, cheduled to be launched in early 2018 and the first half of 2019, respectively, will monitor and remove debris from orbit in order to contribute to a more sustainable space environment.

Approximately 750,000 space debris objects over one centimeter in diameter exist in space, threatening satellites and spacecraft that orbit the Earth. The establishment of services to monitor and track rapidly proliferating sub-millimeter sized debris as well as to remove such objects from orbit is an urgent necessity to mitigate potentially catastrophic damage to space assets.

Nobu Okada, ASTROSCALE founder and CEO said that along with existing financial investors, they welcome private companies who support ASTROSCALE’s vision and missions as investors for the first time in Series C. This funding commitment indicates the growing international awareness that space debris must be confronted in order to safeguard future space use and advance discussions on Space Traffic Management (STM). He added that they are confident that ANA’s specialized knowledge on operational safety and their experience as a leading airline group in the global market will be vital to their business. Additionally, they believe that OSG, a manufacturer of comprehensive cutting tools that operates in 33 countries and supports a diverse set of industries from automobile to aerospace, will not only supply high quality instruments but will also contribute to the mass production of space debris removal satellites.