Astroscale Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration

Demonstrating new debris removal
technology for space sustainability

Scheduled for lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in 2023, the Electron rocket will launch the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) satellite for Astroscale Japan Inc., which has been selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Phase I of its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project (CRD2), one of the world’s first technology demonstrations of removing large-scale debris from orbit.

Once deployed to a precise orbit by Electron’s Kick Stage, the ADRAS-J satellite is designed to rendezvous with a piece of orbital debris, a long abandoned upper stage rocket body. ADRAS-J aims to demonstrate proximity operations and obtain images of the rocket body, delivering observational data to better understand the debris environment. A planned second phase of the mission, which has yet to be competed, intends to demonstrate the de-orbit of the debris.