Rocket Lab teams up with Astroscale to Launch Orbital Debris Removal Mission1st Oct 2021
Rocket Lab is one of the few space industry companies turning their eye towards the pollution of space. Ever since the 1970s, the amount of ‘space garbage’ has increased sevenfold, leading to a growing concern that future space exploration missions might encounter challenges and potentially disastrous complications.
An Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration Mission scheduled for 2023
Rocket Lab has joined forces with Astroscale to battle the build-up of space garbage left after most launch missions. Nobu Okada, CEO and Founder of Astroscale, shared in an interview that reliable and commercially proven launchers such as Rocket Lab’s Electron ensure affordable and flexible access to space, which is fundamental for industry growth, infrastructure, and economy.
The mission will be split into two phases, the first scheduled for 2023. Phase 1 will see Rocket Lab’s Electron launch into orbit carrying Astroscale-Japan’s satellite. Electron’s Kick Stage will allow the rocket to position the satellite within an acceptable distance of the orbital debris. ADRAS-J has been constructed with data gathering and transmission in mind, so it will be able to provide observational data of the abandoned space trash. Phase 2 of the Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration Mission will demonstrate the removal of the debris.
Space debris has become a growing concern within the Space Industry
The Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration Mission is only the first step in cleaning up our orbit. The ability to analyse and repair (remove if necessary) satellites from Earth’s orbit will allow the industry to create a sustainable space environment, one not cluttered with our trash.
The CEO of Astroscale has shared his positive outlook on creating a sustainable space exploration platform. He believes that Rocket Lab and Astroscale have already become leaders in their relevant industry niches, and the upcoming Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration Mission will become a significant step in making space more sustainable.