Nobu Blogs: Being Influential

Posted April 13th, 2022 Posted in Blog

On March 30, 2022, I was walking along an usually quiet Seine in Paris when I received a notification on my Apple Watch: “Astroscale named to TIME’s list of 100 most influential companies.” Astroscale was alongside companies such as Apple, Google, Walmart, and Sony, just to name a few. I quickly opened and confirmed the news — I was elated!


Astroscale has received numerous awards and accolades over the years, but this recognition from TIME is the one I am most proud of because if we are truly influencing the world, then space is heading towards a sustainable future. When I founded Astroscale in 2013, very few people believed in our vision. Now, we are approaching our nine-year anniversary, and our vision has reached a global audience. Confidence in our vision has turned into conviction.

It took me a while to realize this, but the future is something that we have to create. It isn’t written in a textbook or taught by any teacher – and I want to be a person who creates the future.

To shift gears for a moment (no pun intended as you will see), I made a quick trip to London before visiting Paris. This was the first time I had been back to London in two years, and I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of London’s taxis are now electric vehicles.

As Tokyo geared up for its delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in 2021, London-style taxis, called next-generation taxis, took over the streets and replaced the classic sedan style vehicles. I personally prefer the new-generation taxis, as they make it easier to load luggage. However, while Tokyo was shifting to these London-style taxis, which run on gas, The London Taxi Corporation, which operates arguably some of the most iconic vehicles in the world, rebranded itself The London Electric Vehicle Company, and was executing its vision to lead the charge to provide green mobility solutions that accelerate cleaner cities around the world.


In the two years since the start of the global pandemic, the car industries in the United States and China have increasingly shifted to electric vehicles — there is indeed a global change toward greener mobility, and this change started from a vision. The future is created by creating and executing a certain vision and while the world faces many global challenges, making any change takes time.

I see this TIME recognition as a motivation to continue executing our vision of the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of future generations, by developing the technologies, creating the economics, and guiding responsible policies and regulations for on-orbit servicing.

As I went over these thoughts before my next meeting, another notification popped up on my Apple Watch: the Japanese baseball team I support, the Hanshin Tigers, just lost their fifth straight game. But how could I be disappointed when I was feeling this excited about the future?