Japanese space company Astroscale has released a new video showing how their space debris program, ELSA-M, will work.


ELSA-M (End of Life Services by Astroscale – Multiple) is a “garbage truck satellite” that chases down defunct satellites and docks with them. ELSA-M then changes the orbit of the combined spacecraft and eventually releases the dead satellite, allowing it to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Afterward, ELSA-M can search for another satellite ready for cremation in Earth’s atmosphere. For this process to work, the dead satellite must have a magnetic interface compatible with ELSA-M’s docking mechanism.

ELSA-M | End of Life Services by Astroscale – Multiple

Astroscale plans to launch an ELSA-M satellite into space sometime in 2024-2025 to capture and dispose of one of the satellites owned by satellite company OneWeb.

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