Satellite servicing and space junk removal innovator Astroscale appoints new managing director

AstraScale Space Debris

Astroscale Ltd a market leader in satellite servicing and which is also helping to clear up junk from space has appointed Nick Shave to succeed John Auburn as Managing Director.

Nick joins Astroscale at a time of tremendous growth in the UK following the recent announcement of ESA’s Sunrise Partnership Program to develop Astroscale’s ELSA-M servicer and debris removal mission and ESA’s CREAM II Collision Avoidance Program.

Nobu Okada, CEO, and founder of Astroscale, said: “We are delighted that Nick Shave will be leading our UK/European business at this exciting time.

“Our Harwell-based team is leading the development of our End-of-Life Services with ELSA-M, our multi-client debris removal servicer. From Mission Operations, Collision Avoidance to Space Situational Awareness, our technology and expertise is driving the on-orbit servicing economy globally. We are particularly excited to work with Nick as we enter our new Astroscale premises in the coming weeks.” 

Nick, formerly VP of Strategic Programs at Inmarsat, and current Chair of UKspacethe trade association of the UK space industry, brings more than 30 years of space sector experience to Astroscale.

He has delivered significant business growth and results whilst performing senior management, engineering and sales roles at Inmarsat, CGI, Logica and at the UK MOD Defence Research Agency. He is educated to MBA level and holds an MSc in Spacecraft Technology & Satellite Communications from University College London. In addition to his UKspace role, he serves as a Councillor of the Royal Aeronautical Society where he is also a Fellow.

Nick said: “I am thrilled to be leading the next phase of Astroscale’s growth strategy in the UK & Europe, and feel very lucky to have inherited such a talented and passionate team of experts who are committed to delivering our global ambition on space sustainability,

“Now is the time to realise the UK’s ambition to capture the opportunity in the fast growing on-orbit servicing economy as highlighted in the country’s National Space Strategy. The UK is taking a leadership position across sustainable space programs — collaborating with industry partners, supporting regulatory innovation and building international partnerships. Astroscale is proud to be creating new space sector jobs and growth opportunities that will keep the space environment safe for future generations.”

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Nick’s immediate predecessor, John Auburn, has driven Astroscale’s impressive growth in the Uk and Europe since opening the office on Harwell Campus in April 2017. Under his leadership, Astroscale Ltd. has grown to 100 employees and is the largest space company on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus. He secured a funding income of more than $30 million from the European Space Agency, UK Space Agency and other government & industry partners. In his role as Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the In-orbit Servicing & Manufacturing Working Group (IOSM), part of UKspace, Auburn has driven development of the on-orbit servicing economy, predicted to be worth more than $1 billion to the UK by 2030. His efforts to support on-orbit servicing has created a vibrant network of partnerships and funding opportunities between industry, the U.K. government and academia.

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“I am delighted to pass on the leadership of Astroscale Ltd. to Nick Shave, with whom I’ve collaborated for many years,” said John. “Thank you to our teams in Japan, the U.S., Israel, and our U.K. team who have worked so hard with our European industry and government partners. I am very proud of all that we have achieved together over the last five years to realize our vision of a sustainable space economy.”

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