The collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will leverage Astroscale’s on-orbit servicing technologies and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ launch vehicle manufacturing and launch services capabilities to cooperate on the technical aspects required to advance sustainable space operations, Astroscale said.
It is the first collaboration between Astroscale and a launch services provider.
Initial efforts will include discussions and development of debris removal methods for upper stages.
Astroscale has also been selected by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry “to research and develop robotic hand and arm technologies that can be affixed to spacecraft to perform complex servicing activities in orbit and in lunar environments”, the company aid.
The three-year contract has an initial volume of $2.5 million for the current Japanese fiscal year (April 2020 to March 2021).