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End of Life Services by Astroscale Demonstration


Designation 47944 / 21022N
Launch date 22 Mar 2021
Country of origin Japan
Mission Technology
Perigee/Apogee 541/566 km
Inclination 97.6°
Period 95.6 min
Launch vehicle Soyuz 2 2.1a #88

16 kg technology demonstrator built by SSTL, owned by Astroscale Japan.

To simulate capture of debris and validate technologies to dispose of space junk.

Carries S-band communications, GPS positioning, and a three-axis control system. It will also fly an HD camera and lighting to record the capture sequences during eclipse. A ferromagnetic docking plate with optical markers is attached to the Target, allowing the ~175 kg Chaser satellite to identify and estimate attitude before deploying a capture extension mechanism with a magnetic plate to latch on to the Target satellite (17 kg).

Whilst rendezvous has been performed in orbit in the past, ELSA-d will demonstrate the first semi-autonomous capture of a non-responsive, tumbling Target, as well as the first identification of a Target that is outside of the field of view of the relative navigation sensors on the Chaser.

In mid-2021 the satellite successfully performed separation and capture of its target. In Jan 2022 operations were halted after anomalous spacecraft conditions were detected.

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