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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Astro Digital embraces responsible satellite operations with Astroscale's simple and innovative Dock

Astroscale announced a new partnership with Astro Digital US Inc., a global provider of complete space-based systems and mission support. This partnership will see Astroscale’s Generation 2 Docking Plate incorporated into Astro Digital’s modular satellite bus for end-of-life servicing preparation, in a move towards responsible satellite operations.

Establishing industry standards for end-of-life and other servicing preparations, Astroscale's Gen 2 Docking Plate sets a new benchmark for on-orbit servicing and promises to usher in a new era of responsible, sustainable and smart satellite operations in space, aligning with international best practices and guidelines. Astro Digital is set to receive its first Astroscale Docking Plate for integration later this year, with launch expected in Q4 CY 2024.

“We are excited to deliver our Gen 2 Docking Plate to Astro Digital,” said Andrew Faiola, Commercial Director, Astroscale Ltd. “Equipping their platforms with the Astroscale Docking Plate demonstrates leadership among bus manufacturers to provide a spacecraft that is ready for potential servicing or removal, allowing satellite operators to remain flexible and act responsibly in space. With the Docking Plate in place, on-orbit servicing spacecraft such as Astroscale’s ELSA-M servicer can securely dock with the client satellite and relocate it or remove it from orbit for safe and simple disposal, offering a low-risk, practical and future-proof solution for the industry.”

“We want to empower and accelerate innovative companies and their space-based initiatives,” said Chris Biddy, Co-Founder and CEO, Astro Digital US Inc. “At the same time, Astro Digital and our customers want to operate responsibly and ensure that space remains viable in the future. We see space debris mitigation as a crucial activity for sustainable space, and we recognise that Astro Digital has a role to play. Incorporating Astroscale’s Docking Plate into our satellite bus design supports our goals of being responsible operators. The simple and compatible design allows easy integration, making it straightforward for us to enable our customers to keep space sustainability alongside their day-to-day operations.”

This announcement comes as the satellite industry gathers in Utah for the annual Small Sat conference, which focuses on emerging and advanced technologies in small spacecraft development. The partnership between Astro Digital and Astroscale heralds an important step in combining satellite operations and space sustainability, in line with global initiatives such as:

Astroscale’s Docking Plate and end-of-life services provide bus manufacturers and satellite operators with a solution for striking a balance between developing and growing our activities in space while ensuring space remains viable for future generations.

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