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Astroscale’s ADRAS-J Ready for Launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on Sunday, February 18

By Eric Van Rees - 8th February 2024 - 10:24

A world-first mission aimed at inspecting and understanding orbital debris to create a sustainable space environment

Astroscale Japan, a subsidiary of Astroscale, a provider of satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, will launch its commercial debris inspection demonstration satellite, Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J), on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand on Sunday, February 18 UTC (Monday, February 19 NZDT).

ADRAS-J was shipped from Astroscale Japan’s headquarters in Tokyo in October 2023, and final preparations for launch are underway at Rocket Lab’s facilities in addition to operational control testing from the Mission Control Center in Tokyo.

“I am so proud to see ADRAS-J ready for launch,” said Eijiro Atarashi, ADRAS-J Project Manager. “This mission will not only demonstrate highly difficult and innovative RPO capabilities that will support future on-orbit services, including debris removal, but it also represents a significant step forward in creating a sustainable orbital environment for generations to come.”

The ADRAS-J spacecraft was selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for Phase I of its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration program. Astroscale Japan is responsible for the design, manufacture, test, launch and operations of ADRAS-J.

Read More: Satellite Imaging Aerospace

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