Astroscale Holdings Inc., the Japan-based firm in satellite servicing and long-term sustainability across all orbits, has closed a Series G round with more than $76 million in funding.
The investment were come from new investors Mitsubishi Electric, Yusaku Maezawa, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mitsubishi Corporation, Development Bank of Japan, and FEL Corporation, Astroscale said in a statement on Sunday.
With the closing of this round, Astroscale has raised a total of approximately $376 million since establishment, demonstrating strong investor confidence in its stability, success and market leadership in the on-orbit services sector, despite the extremely challenging global economic climate.
“We are pleased with the interest we received from our investors, which conveys a vote of confidence in Astroscale’s vision and potential,” said Nobu Okada, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Astroscale.
“On-orbit servicing is a necessary infrastructure for a sustainable and growing space economy, and the key to reducing risk and increasing returns for satellite operators,
“We are on a mission to make on-orbit servicing routine by 2030, and these funds will significantly contribute to further innovative technology development, global expansion and increased capacity to meet the growing demand,” he added.
Astroscale is the first private company with a vision to secure the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of future generations and is dedicated to on-orbit servicing across all orbits.
Founded in 2013, Astroscale is developing innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of on-orbit servicing, including life extension, in situ space situational awareness, end-of-life, and active debris removal, to create sustainable space systems and mitigate the growing and hazardous buildup of debris in space.
Astroscale is also defining business cases and working with government and commercial stakeholders to develop norms, regulations, and incentives for the responsible use of space.
Headquartered in Japan, Astroscale has an international presence with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Israel.
The firm is a rapidly expanding venture company, working to advance safe and sustainable growth in space and solve a growing environmental concern.
“Mitsubishi Electric is working to promote the use of space in the security sector, which strongly connects with Astroscale’s efforts to build a sustainable space economy for future generations,” said Masahiko Arai, General Manager of the Defense Systems Division of Mitsubishi Electric.
“We are excited to invest in Astroscale and looking forward to cooperate and merge our collective expertise in supporting their business strategy and development of innovative technologies,” he added.
According to the statement, the global economy is more dependent on satellite services than at any time in history, and this dependence is only rising.
The number of space debris objects in low-Earth orbit is exponentially increasing, posing a threat to all who benefit every day from these services.
These risks, and the wasted value and opportunity inherent in single-use space operations, have driven Astroscale to pioneer on-orbit services such as end-of-life removal of satellites, active debris removal, in-space situational awareness and satellite life extension.
Astroscale has a variety of missions and projects underway around the world.
Astroscale Japan is under contract with JAXA for Phase I of the Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project (CRD2), which will characterize an upper stage rocket body in orbit.
It was also selected as a contract partner for a technology study in Phase II of CRD2, which would involve removing a large-scale debris object from orbit.
Astroscale United Kingdom is developing an active debris removal mission, Cleaning Outer Space Missions through Innovative Capture (COSMIC), in partnership with the United Kingdom Space Agency, and plans to demonstrate the ELSA-M servicer in 2024 in partnership with OneWeb, the United Kingdom Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
Astroscale United States and Astroscale Israel teams are global leaders in building the technology and mission plan for Life Extension services.
The Astroscale United States team is also working with several United States government agencies, including the Air Force Research Laboratory and Space Force, on research and development (R&D) for satellite servicing.
A previous mission, End of Life Services by Astroscale demonstration (ELSA-d), successfully demonstrated a series of key technologies required for space debris removal in 2021 and 2022, a milestone for on-orbit servicing and an unprecedented achievement for a commercially funded mission in LEO.
To develop its services and meet increasing demand from customers, Astroscale is expanding its workforce and has opened new facilities in the United Kingdom, United States, and Israel, with a global headquarters facility set to open in Tokyo later this year.
Astroscale has been able to attract high quality talent from around the world, and its global team has grown by 63 percent to over 400 members since its last funding round in November 2021.