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Japan to extend satellite life with private help

7th May 2021 - 09:05 GMT | by Koji Miyake in Tokyo

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The Japanese MoD is seeking help from private company Astoscale to preserve the life of its satellites. (Astroscale)

Japan is exploring sophisticated technologies that will extend the life of satellites already in orbit.

On 8 February, the Japanese MoD contracted Astroscale to research technology relating to the extension of the life of satellites, including fuel replenishment and other consumables, repairing damaged parts and detailed inspections.

Astroscale is a Japanese space business venture founded in 2013 that concentrates on space debris removal. Outsourcing defence work to a private venture company is unusual for the conservative Japanese MoD.

Astroscale substantially merged with Effective Space Solutions in Israel in June 2020, and it has now moved into geostationary satellite life extensions.

Japan will launch its Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellite in 2026 to monitor space debris

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