Astroscale Report Shows ELSA-M Contributions To UK Space Economy12th Oct 2023
Space sustainability specialists Astroscale have released a report highlighting how their ELSA-M project is providing significant contributions to the UK space industry. Astroscale’s independent Economic Impact Report focused on three main aspects, namely economic growth, job creation and regional development. Based on the findings, Astroscale said in a statement they have created notable growth within the industry. The company also marked that the report was released on the anniversary of the opening of their Oxford-based facility.
By aligning with the UK’s National Space Strategy, the company said they have also propelled: “the nation towards becoming one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world.” Nick Shave, Managing Director of Astroscale UK, added: “We are thrilled to share the results of this Economic Impact Report, which demonstrates Astroscale’s commitment to driving sustainable growth in the space industry and the UK economy.”
The Astroscale Report
The report primarily focused on Astroscale’s ‘End of Life Services’ (ELSA) programme and its spacecraft deorbiting servicer, ELSA-M, and its role in the UK space economy.
The Report’s Four Key Areas Arising From ELSA-M
Regarding economic growth, Astroscale’s report showed that for every £1 of public investment, they deliver £23. It was also noted that Astroscale employs over 23,000 UK-based scientists and engineers. In terms of regional development, the report found that 56% of expenditure was placed outside the South-East and London. It also stated that Astroscale is: “boosting investment opportunities across the whole of the UK”.
Finally, the report highlighted how the ELSA-M programme will generate £2 billion of revenue. Generally, this is due to changes in space regulations. The servicer also offers commercial space companies a viable option for deorbiting inactive spacecraft.
Astroscale’s will utilise the ELSA-M servicer to facilitate their Active Debris Removal (ADR) mission. Working in conjunction with RUAG Space, the servicer received a completion investment of €14.8 million in 2022. And now, under the Cleaning Outer Space Mission through Innovative Capture (COSMIC) programme, ELSA-M will target two defunct UK satellites when it launches in 2024. Astroscale said COSMIC will build on the: “heritage of the ELSA-M programme and UK-focused supply chain, resulting in a further positive impact on the UK space economy”.
The company’s services could become even more important to the industry than previously envisioned. Recently, the first ever space debris fine was handed out to DISH for failing to deorbit an inoperational satellite. The penalty gives platforms such as ELSA-M the opportunity to become an integral tool for space sustainability and to prevent any future fines.