Astroscale, the market-leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability in space, has excelled in a number of areas amid the global complications presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closing of its $191 million Series E funding round has been the major highlight of their recent success. Harwell Campus is the host of Astroscale’s UK office and Operations Centre.
Following the opening of this funding round in May, in which I-NET, a leading Japanese data centre provider, was secured as its first investor, Astroscale announced they had closed the round in early October. This was completed following additional funding of $51 million from a group of investors led by aSTART. This latest round now makes Astroscale the most funded on-orbit services and logistics company globally and the most funded space venture in Japan.
Commenting on the closing, Nobu Okada, founder & CEO of Astroscale, said, “In Astroscale’s seven-and-a-half-year history, we have seen a growing awareness of the space debris issue and the recognition that protecting space technologies is essential for improving our daily lives and helping to ensure sustainability on Earth. Our multiple funding rounds are a testament to the power of Astroscale’s vision of space sustainability, and this latest series will allow us to continue developing the technologies that will lead to debris removal and the on-orbit servicing market.”
In late September, Astroscale was awarded the Grand Prix during the UNESCO Netexplo Innovation Forum 2020. A total of 10 breakthrough digital innovations, selected for their disruptive potential, were up for the award. Astroscale won the Grand Prix for its innovative satellite technologies that will reduce orbital debris and support the long-term, sustainable use of space.
Astroscale has also strengthened its senior management team, with the appointment in September of Sharon Parker-Lines as the UK Operations Director and she will work closely with John Auburn, Chief Commercial Officer and Astroscale’s UK Managing Director, to build a world-class multi-skilled engineering and operations team in the UK. Auburn said, “We are very pleased to welcome Sharon to the team. Her commercial and people skills will bring drive and passion to our mission, turning our engineering expertise into a vibrant and successful business.”
Located inside the Harwell Space Cluster since May 2017, Astroscale’s UK base is home to more than 30 people that work on projects such as the development of their pioneering ELSA-d mission (a technology demonstrator for end-of-life service). Their development of a National In-Orbit Servicing Control Facility, will form the basis for operating missions to clean up space debris and conduct other in-orbit servicing operations, providing Astroscale with a world-leading operational capability.