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Tokyo Government Awards Astroscale Grant for Active Debris Removal 

By Rachel Jewett | January 24, 2020

Photo: Astroscale

Astroscale has been awarded a grant of up to $4.5 million from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Innovation Tokyo Project” to build a roadmap for commercializing active debris removal services. The project, which was launched last year, aims to subsidize up to half of the expenses required for the commercialization and development of innovative services and products for venture companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Astroscale, which is headquartered in Japan, received the maximum amount covering half of its $9 million application, and will use the funds over three years to commercialize its debris removal services and develop global sales channels with satellite operators, national agencies and the insurance market. The grant will also be used to continue pursuing joint research and development contracts, conduct safety and risk assessments of client satellites, and grow the finance and human resources departments.

“To address the issue of space debris removal and mitigation it is necessary to both advance innovative technologies and cooperate on policy,” said Chris Blackerby, Chief Operating Officer of Astroscale. “The support provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government allows us to do both in order to further develop the business case for Astroscale services and build upon the great momentum we have been gaining in maturing the market.”