Astroscale and New Zealand to Cooperate on Space Safety and Sustainability

TOKYO (Astroscale PR) — Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (“MBIE”) to cooperate on areas of space safety and sustainability, including debris mitigation and remediation, and on-orbit servicing in general.

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 low Earth orbit and will aim to further demonstrate the viability of commercial debris removal while advancing the state of orbital sustainability.

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Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

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