ELSA-d - Astroscale, Securing Space Sustainability


Launch: 20 March 2021​​

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ELSA-d consists of two spacecraft: a servicer satellite (~175kg) and a client satellite (~17kg), launched stacked together. The servicer satellite has been developed to safely remove debris objects from orbit, equipped with proximity rendezvous technologies and a magnetic docking mechanism. The client satellite is a piece of replica debris fitted with a ferromagnetic plate that enables the docking.

The servicer will repeatedly release and dock with the client in a series of technical demonstrations, proving the capability to find and dock with defunct satellites and other debris. Demonstrations include client search, client inspection, client rendezvous, and both non-tumbling and tumbling docking

Final astroscale mission patch sticker
ELSA d ConOps Phases Diagram

ELSA-d will demonstrate several capabilities and technologies needed for future on-orbit services. While the mission will prove technologies that can be directly applied to customers, there are some slight differences to a future servicing mission.

For the ELSA-d mission, the client is commandable, ensuring demonstrations can be tested in a simplified manner earlier in the mission. For example, before tumbling capture is attempted, the easier case of non-tumbling capture will be attempted, which requires the client to hold a set orientation. The Concept of Operations (ConOps) is designed to gradually increase the complexity and risk with each phase and can be adjusted because the servicer is launched together with the client.

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