Astroscale UK’s Economic Impact Report Unveils Game-Changing Contributions to the UK Space Industry

Posted October 9th, 2023 Posted in News

Harwell, UK, October 9, 2023 – Astroscale UK, a fast-growing company dedicated to securing the sustainable development of space, announces groundbreaking insights from an Economic Impact Report focusing on economic growth, job creation and regional development.

The report underscores Astroscale’s pivotal role in enabling growth in the UK’s space economy and aligns with the UK Government’s National Space Strategy (NSS) to propel the nation towards becoming one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world

This announcement follows the anniversary of the official opening of Astroscale’s dedicated UK facility at the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire, which includes state-of-the-art satellite integration cleanrooms, mission operations facilities, and offices for 180 staff. The new Astroscale UK premises were officially opened by Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, on 27 September 2022.

Nobu Okada in UK office
Nobu Okada, CEO and Founder of Astroscale, visits the UK office in summer 2023

The independent study focuses on Astroscale’s “End-of-Life” service, ELSA-M, which will enable LEO constellation operators to act responsibly in space, demonstrating its significant contribution to the UK space ecosystem. The report underscores Astroscale’s pivotal role in enabling growth in the UK’s space economy, how it will help position the nation as a science superpower and reveals four fundamental aspects of Astroscale’s ambitious ELSA-M programme: 

Empowering Economic Growth: Delivering an unprecedented £23 per £1 return on public investment, showcasing Astroscale’s ability to maximise value for the UK economy. 

Fuelling Job Creation and Innovation: Supporting over 12,000 high-skilled, high-paid jobs across the UK, fostering innovation and expertise in the rapidly growing space industry. 

Driving Regional Development: Locating an impressive 56% of expenditure outside the South-East and London, boosting investment opportunities across the whole of the UK. 

Generating Sales for the UK Space Industry: The ELSA-M programme is projected to contribute £2bn in revenue for the UK space industry over the next 10 years, accelerating economic growth and prosperity. 

“Astroscale’s Economic Impact Report showcases the vast potential of the UK space industry”, said Ray Fielding, Head of Sustainability at the UK Space Agency. “Their innovative approach to in-orbit servicing, and commitment to regional development, support the government’s ambitions for the UK space sector. We look forward to seeing the positive impact Astroscale will continue to make in the UK and internationally.” 

Nick Shave, Managing Director of Astroscale UK, commented, “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.  

“By leveraging our ELSA-M programme, we aim to foster innovation, create highly-skilled jobs, and ensure a prosperous future for the UK space ecosystem across the full breadth of the country. The report’s insights highlight a remarkable £23 per £1 return on public investment, reflecting our dedication to maximising value for the UK economy while bolstering UK manufacturing capabilities.  

“Additionally, by supporting over 12,000 high-skilled, high-paid jobs across the UK, Astroscale is making significant strides in developing STEM skills, nurturing expertise for the rapidly growing space sector. Our mission is also focused on driving regional development with 56% of our expenditure located outside the South-East and London, paving the way for onshoring production and further supporting UK exports.  

“Through our ELSA-M programme, which is projected to generate £2bn in sales for the UK space industry, we are actively attracting foreign direct investment and contributing to the UK’s position as a leading global player in the space economy. Astroscale is proud to play a key role in the UK’s journey to becoming a science superpower.” 

ELSA-M is paving the way for Astroscale’s UK Active Debris Removal (ADR) mission, COSMIC (Cleaning Outer Space Mission through Innovative Capture). Targeting two inactive British satellites, 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 and its world standing in the global space industry.  

The report’s projections affirm Astroscale’s pivotal role in shaping the future of space exploration while addressing ever-growing sustainability concerns related to space debris. 


Astroscale UK commissioned London Economics, one of Europe’s leading specialist economics and policy consultancies, to carry out an independent economic impact study to understand the benefits Astroscale, and in particular its ELSA-M programme, could bring to the UK space industry, its supply-chains, and the wider UK economy. Based on the projections from this economic impact report, Astroscale has announced key statistics to demonstrate the scale of opportunity it presents to the UK space ecosystem. The full report is confidential due to the commercial nature of the data included within it. 

Astroscale Economic Impact infographic

Contact for a PDF version of the infographic.