Daily news




Space Junk targeted: IDRS to help enable communications for Astroscale’s ELSA-M debris removal mission

December 5, 2022 

Astroscale Limited, and Addvalue are delighted to announce the signing of a contract for the delivery of IDRS™ technology via Inmarsat geostationary satellites for Astroscale’s forthcoming End-of-Life Services by Astroscale (ELSA-M) debris satellite capture mission. With Low Earth Orbits increasingly congested, the ELSA-M in-orbit demonstration is planned to launch towards the end of 2024, with ambitious plans to deliver a commercial debris removal or End of Life service to satellite operators thereafter. Astroscale’s mission is to help safeguard the vital space-enabled services including weather forecasting, disaster management, satellite navigation, data for banking systems and communication services on which so many countries and companies now depend.

IDRS™ will play a crucial role in Astroscale’s innovative offer by providing continuous real-time connectivity during proximity maneuvering to capture the Client satellite and ready it for de-orbiting. The contract between Astroscale and Addvalue covers the supply of IDRS™ space terminal equipment for this first mission and will be followed by a Service Agreement in support.

The game-changing IDRS™ solution makes this all possible by using the world’s only ‘Always-On’ on-demand, real-time connection for any LEO satellite. This enables access to 24/7 data communication services with LEO satellites across all orbital inclinations up to altitudes of 1,000 km. It also removes the need for waiting for a pass over a ground station to command and control the satellite during time sensitive operation such as maneuvering close to a debris satellite.  This is achieved through connecting to the global Inmarsat ELERA constellation of GEO satellites and its BGAN ground infrastructure to deliver global coverage and connectivity in near real time.

Astroscale UK and Europe Managing Director Nick Shave, said, “This new agreement with Addvalue and Inmarsat for IDRS™ to support the ELSA-M mission reflects the same vision and ambition that so recently saw Astroscale win the 2022 ‘Sustainability in Space’ award at the European Space Forum in Brussels. By capturing failed satellites in LEO and actively de-orbiting them, we can help eliminate dangerous orbiting debris and make our near-Earth environment safer and more secure for all.”

Tan Khai Pang, Chief Executive Officer of Addvalue, commented, “We’re honored to be working with Astroscale, a private company with a vision for the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of generations to come. We are gratified that IDRS will play an important role in helping Astroscale shape a more debris-free space future.”

”Space is everyone’s front yard and Inmarsat is committed to space sustainability for the good of the whole planet. This new partnership enables us to continue to contribute to it with Addvalue and Astroscale,” said Todd McDonell, President of Inmarsat Global Government. “Inmarsat’s ELERA geostationary satellites and global ground network – part of our developing ORCHESTRA network of networks – deliver reliable and robust connectivity for the essential missions of our customers and partners, including this innovative approach to safeguarding space for all.”


Complete your e-mail address
to receive our industry leading weekly newsletter!
E-mail address: