Astroscale Ltd, the UK subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc, the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability, is to develop new offices and satellite manufacturing facilities within the Zeus building complex located on Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
Astroscale’s new UK office will be at the heart of the Harwell Campus Space Cluster, close to stakeholders such as the European Space Agency, Satellite Applications Catapult, UK Space Agency, and many key industry partners. The interior fit-out will begin this month, with the intention to move into the new offices by summer 2022.
Astroscale UK was established in 2017 with three employees and has since grown to a team of more than 80 spanning engineering, mission operations, ground systems, business development and operations. The UK space industry is also growing rapidly, quadrupling in size since 2000 and with ambitious growth plans.
The move from Astroscale’s current premises to the new offices marks a 900 per cent increase in office space, covering approximately 20,000 square feet. Astroscale will occupy Unit’s 03, 04, and 05 of the 10 units at Zeus.
John Auburn, Managing Director of Astroscale Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to secure this new building at the heart of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. The new space is a critical part of our growth strategy, enabling us to further expand our team and develop new facilities to build and operate our satellite servicers, capable of removing multiple pieces of space debris in a single mission.”
Stuart Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Harwell Science and Innovation Campus added: “As the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability, we’re delighted that Astroscale has chosen Harwell to expand its operations. The Campus is an innovation powerhouse that connects the rapidly expanding space community based here, with key industrial collaborators, research-based expertise, investment opportunities and funders.”
Astroscale celebrated successful completion of the first test phase of its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission in August this year. ELSA-d is the world’s first commercial debris removal demonstration mission and will prove the technologies required for an end-to-end service. This new UK facility will enable Astroscale to build satellite servicers, and rapidly develop their debris removal commercial offering in the coming years.
Astroscale’s ambitions are closely aligned with the UK’s new National Space Strategy, released in September, which outlined support for emerging technologies and the importance of developing the in-orbit servicing market to extend the economic life of satellites and remove defunct spacecraft.
“Growing reliance on satellites for a range of everyday utilities from SatNav to meteorology is making the space tech sector increasingly valuable to the UK economy. Our National Space Strategy sets out our vision for a thriving UK space sector that pushes the boundaries of innovation including a specific commitment to lead in clearing space debris” said George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in a recent announcement for a UK government led Active Debris Removal Mission Study.
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is the UK’s leading science and innovation campus and internationally recognised as an important center for innovation and technology with over 200 organisations, £3bn of national facilities and over 6000 employees.
John Auburn of Astroscale added: “Harwell Science and Innovation Campus provides the ideal ecosystem for Astroscale to continue to expand its regional presence, develop innovative technology, inform policy makers, and drive forward the business case to ensure a sustainable economic and environmental future for space.”