London tech fund takes $ 12million stake in engineer who cleans up space junk

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The pace tech fund Seraphim has taken a $ 12.5 million stake in a satellite maintenance group that is developing technology to extend the life of satellites in orbit around the Earth.

The Hong Kong-based international team of Astroscale builds magnetic docking vehicles capable of inspecting, repairing, reusing or removing failed space hardware in situ.

He estimates that these orbital highways are already polluted with more than 23,000 debris larger than 10 cm in diameter, plus hundreds of millions of smaller ones.

Today’s announcement was Seraphim’s first investment in Asia, listed in London, and brought the amount raised in the last round – which also included France’s DNCA Invest – to just over $ 100 million. .

Seraphim said: “With thousands of satellites launched each year, the risk posed by hundreds of dead satellites to operating spacecraft is increasing.”

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He estimates that the emerging market will be worth billions of dollars in the coming decades.

Nobu Okada, Founder and CEO of Astroscale, said: “This latest round of funding will dramatically accelerate our ability to establish an in-orbit maintenance routine by 2030 and allow us to launch safe and cost-effective space capabilities at through the maintenance ecosystem, to expand regional facilities for mass production and support global hiring. “

“Astroscale is already the class leader in the global in-orbit services market. Founder and CEO Nobu Okada is recognized around the world as a key figure in mobilizing the space industry in action.

“The ball is now firmly on regulation and self-regulation to protect the space environment.

“We believe now is the optimal time to invest in this emerging market which will be worth billions of dollars over the next decade.”

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