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AAC Clyde Space to Co-Engineer Astroscale UK’s ELSA-M Satellite

By | May 28, 2021

AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes gives UK MP for Surrey Heath. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove a tour of the company’s facilities. (Photo via AAC Clyde Space Twitter)

Astroscale‘s UK division awarded a $370,000 contract to AAC Clyde Space to co-engineer the space debris removal company’s End-of-Life Services by Astroscale (ELSA-M) satellite platform.

AAC Clyde Space will design and update ELSA-M’s Starbuck power subsystem, Sirius avionics and other systems to meet the requirements of its specific mission. The company said its work on the satellite would be completed by the start of 2022. ELSA-M is set for its demonstration launch in 2024.

The contract follows Astroscale’s announcement on Monday that it was working with OneWeb, SatixFy, and Celestia UK to develop a satellite that can beam hop, switching which part of the world it covers. The group has received about $45 million (32 million pounds) from the UK Space Agency, through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sunrise Program. Astroscale received about $3.5 million of the total funding.

Astroscale sent its first demonstration debris removal satellite, ELSA-d, into orbit in March. Astroscale UK Managing Director John Auburn said that the company’s ELSA-M program will build on the technology and capability of ELSA-d.

“The ELSA-M servicer will be optimized to remove multiple pieces of debris in a single mission, from Low-Earth Orbit, and ensure that next generation telecommunication satellite missions can deorbit safely,” said Auburn.