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National In-Orbit Servicing Control Facility to be Built in the UK

National In-Orbit Servicing Control Facility to be Built in the UK


In an article provided by Astroscale on Satnews.com:

The National In-Orbit Servicing Control Facility will support advanced robotics activities in the hostile environment of space, specifically enabling the provision of a commercial service for deorbiting smallsats. The new facility will initially control Astroscale’s pioneering ELSA-d mission, the first project to demonstrate the core rendezvous, capture and de-orbit technologies used by the ELSA (End-of-Life Service by Astroscale) program.

ELSA-d is comprised of two satellites, the ‘Chaser’ and the ‘Target.’ The ‘Chaser’ is equipped with optical sensing instruments and a capture mechanism which will attach to a Docking Plate on the ‘Target’ satellite. The Chaser and Target will then de-orbit together, burning up as they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

More than 4,500 satellites orbit the Earth, providing critical services including global communication and positioning capabilities. Upwards of 15,000 satellites are expected to be launched over the next 10 years, including into orbits that are already highly populated. There are growing concerns that a collision between uncontrolled space debris and an active satellite could cause global commercial and security risks and lead to a cascading debris effect making these orbits unsustainable. This issue was highlighted in August 2017 when the governments of Japan and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaboration on mitigating space debris. Read more ...

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July 25, 2018


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