Anomaly disrupts Astroscale's ELSA-d space debris cleanup tests

Astroscale's ELSA-d mission has had its latest space debris cleanup demonstration disrupted by 'anomalous spacecraft conditions.'

@AdamHuntTT
Published Fri, Jan 28 2022 1:30 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Feb 23 2022 4:21 PM CST

The Japanese startup, Astroscale, founded in 2013, operates the ELSA-d mission.

Anomaly disrupts Astroscale's ELSA-d space debris cleanup tests 01 | TweakTown.com

ELSA-d, short for "End-of-Life Services by Astroscale demonstration," launched in March 2021 to test technology that could clean up the more than 36,500 pieces of space debris larger than 10cm in diameter that are currently in orbit. The mission comprises two spacecraft, a 386-pound (175 kilograms) "servicer" and a 37-pound (17 kg) CubeSat "client" that docks to the former magnetically. In August 2021, the servicer released and caught the client repeatedly.

The next phase of the ELSA-d mission is to complete an autonomous capture demonstration. On January 25th, 2022, the servicer released the client and began autonomous navigation operations to keep the client within a safe distance but did not successfully recapture the client. According to a tweet by Astroscale on January 26th, "anomalous spacecraft conditions" mean they will not complete the capture attempt until the anomalies are resolved. Both spacecraft are still operational and safely separated, orbiting nearby one another.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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