Company focused on cleaning up space junk raises $50 million

Week Three: Ninth Anniversary Fund-Raising Drive for Behind the Black

It is now the third week in my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black.

Please consider donating. I am trying to avoid advertising on this website, but will be forced to add it if I do not get enough support from my readers. You can give a one-time contribution, from $5 to $100, or a regular subscription for as little as $2 per month. Your support will be deeply appreciated, and will allow me to continue to report on science and culture freely.

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Capitalism in space: Astroscale, a Japanese company with British ties, has raised $50 million in investment capital for developing a robot spacecraft for locating and removing space junk from orbit.

The company plans to use the funding to support several ongoing efforts, including the development of a technology demonstration satellite called ELSA-d. That spacecraft, scheduled for launch in early 2020 on a Soyuz rocket, will feature “target” and “chaser” satellites to demonstrate rendezvous and proximity operations. The target spacecraft is being built by British smallsat developer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. under a contract announced last November.

The funding will support scaling up an operations center Astroscale established in the United Kingdom in 2017 that also handles engineering, procurement and business development. Astroscale said it plans to establish an office in the United States in 2019.

The article notes also that much of this money comes from Japanese investors, including Mitsubishi, and reflects a growing interest in Japan in private commercial space.



  • Jim Roberts

    Good grief

    Another corporation scamming the taxpayer to pay for cleaning up after the non-existent space missions that have already been used to bilk the taxpayer out of innumerable trillions.

    That grainy, amateurish movie of some guy in a Michelin Man costume continues to line the pockets of scammers everywhere!

    Tell me this, from what camera angle did the get the color photos of the boosters falling off the LEM? And how did they ever have room for something as unwieldy as a dune buggy?

    We all know it’s a crock but I guess your just sucking off the crumbs of this con game with ad revenue

  • Calvin Dodge

    Boosters off the LEM? There were no boosters. There was a lower stage for landing, and an upper stage for taking off. Perhaps you’re thinking of something else?

    I’m not sure what ad revenue you’re referring to, since the only advertisements I see are for Bob’s books.

  • Col Beausabre

    How did they have room? Because they applied technology developed for airborne forces in World War 2 and FOLDED IT.

    It would help before you ask such easy questions to do some research. Your lack of doing so makes you look stupid, lazy or ignorant. Or all three.

  • wayne

    Col Beausabre-
    Great clip! I had totally forgotten about how that was accomplished.

    Calvin- ask about the Dome!
    (hey, we all know– “it’s Turtle’s all the way down,” but keep that to yourself.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *