Statement on ELSA-d De-Orbit Plan

Posted June 17th, 2023 Posted in News ,

We have an update about the next and final phase of our End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission. 

Having successfully demonstrated many of the key technologies required for space debris removal in2021and 2022, we are now focusing on the last crucial step: the safe and controlled de-orbit of the ELSA-d servicer satellite.

To accomplish this, our Operations Team will perform a set of small burns at regular intervals. Each maneuver provides valuable insights, allowing us to determine the optimal burn-and-wait periods for de-orbiting, particularly with limited thruster availability. Once our understanding of the cycles and maximum maneuver size is established, we anticipate an increase in the frequency of maneuvers and will gain a clearer timeline for de-orbit. We expect the de-orbit process to take several months, and our objective is to complete operations in 2023. This will involve using the servicer’s remaining propellant to reduce orbit height into denser atmosphere, from where we expect the servicer’s planned re-entry and burn-up to rapidly occur. The client satellite, which does not have the ability to maneuver, will naturally de-orbit over the next several years (see our related report for more). 

Thank you, again, to our partners and supporters in this mission to make space sustainability a reality. #GoELSAd! 

Learn more about ELSA-d