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Astroscale about to resume space junk capture test

Capitalism in space: After several weeks of delay due to unstated technology issues, the Japanese company Astroscale has begun maneuvers in its test to see if its robot satellite can approach from a distance and capture a target satellite acting as orbital space junk.

The Japanese startup has started moving its 175-kilogram servicer spacecraft closer to the 17-kilogram client satellite ahead of deciding whether to restart the demonstration, Astroscale said in a social media post.

According to Astroscale, it has made “good progress in working through solutions to the anomalous spacecraft conditions that we identified with ELSA-d,” or End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration.

The company did not disclose the nature of the issue, when it could restart the mission or the distance between the two objects.

That no specifics have been stated, and that the company also says it is “keeping regulators and key partners updated on our status,” suggests that maybe the problem wasn’t technical, but bureaucratic. Maybe some Biden administration functionary got nervous, and demanded Astroscale slow down the test so that he or she could review what was happening.

This would not surprise me in the least, though I admit it is nothing more than some wild speculation.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Col Beausabre

    Why would a Japanese company pay any attention to what Brandon or his lackeys think? (Assuming he is capable of thought)

  • Tom Billings

    Col. Beausabre, … you may not be thinking broadly enough.

    The Biden Administration and its cronies throughout the Federal Bureaucracies may have problems with SpaceX, but the functions of these systems are dual-use. If PLASSF has decided that a Japanese company, selling technology to the US, may be an undesirable technology in the hands of US Space Command, then PLASSF’s Cyber War sections may be involved in giving Astroscale’s activities headaches. Since the US officials that Astroscale are meeting with may be Intelligence Community and US Space Command, or Cyber Command people, I will reserve judgement until I know more than company statements disclose at the moment.

  • Star Bird

    I would favor sending Biden to another far away Planet to live Hoth would be a good start

  • George

    If the Biden administration continues to hold up Space-X, could Elon Musk just move to another welcoming country?

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