Astroscale, the international space debris cleanup, has successfully demonstrated capture of a simulated debris object in low Earth orbit. The object has been equipped with a special capture plate that matches the magnetic capture device on the ELSA-D spacecraft. The extensible capture device can be thought of as a very simple robot arm. Future debris cleanup satellites could be equipped with longer and more flexible arms. This successful docking comes after Northrop Grumman’s Space Logistics subsidiary docked two Mission Extension Vehicles to two Intelsat communications satellites in GEO, the first in 2020 and the second earlier this year.

Astroscale’s ELSA-d Successfully Demonstrates Repeated Magnetic Capture