Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (“MBIE”) to cooperate on areas of space safety and sustainability, including debris mitigation and remediation as well as on-orbit servicing.
The collaboration is focused on partnership in projects and activities that support long-term space sustainability, including joint technology development and research. To initiate these efforts, Astroscale and MBIE have identified an initial project in collaboration with Rocket Lab and Te Pūnaha Ātea–Auckland Space Institute, which will define the engineering requirements, policy challenges and associated costs for multi-active debris removal missions with clients that require direct re-entry due to survivability of components.
The project will assess the mitigation strategy for up to three large debris objects with a single servicer in LEO and will aim to further demonstrate the viability of commercial debris removal while advancing the state of orbital sustainability.
"Space sustainability is a global concern that requires international collaboration between industry and government. This partnership with the Government of New Zealand underscores the potential to advance the technical, regulatory and business case solutions needed to solve this challenging problem,” said Chris Blackerby, Group COO of Astroscale. “Astroscale and the Government of New Zealand share a vision for improved space situational awareness and developing on-orbit servicing. We prioritize safety and collaboration in support of the rapidly growing orbital economy and are thrilled to join forces to explore new opportunities for sustainable growth."
“Astroscale’s cutting-edge technology, combined with their approach to space sustainability matches perfectly with our values as a nation. For New Zealand this creates new commercial opportunities, and builds the skills and capability of our people,” said Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary Labour, Science and Enterprise of MBIE. “This partnership underlines our approach to the use of space – partnering with the best firms and researchers, to solve big global challenges and enable ground-breaking research and development. We look forward to working with Astroscale to develop and expand the New Zealand space industry, and continue to explore new opportunities for collaboration.”