Astroscale, a space debris removal startup in Singapore that is also based in Japan and the UK, has secured US$50 million in its Series D round of funding, as reported by Business Times.

This makes the fourth round of funding raised by Astroscale, bringing the total amount of capital investment to US$102 million, led by Japan’s INCJ Ltd., with funds operated by SBI Investment Co., Ltd (SBII) and Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd (Mitsubishi Estate).

The funding will support Astroscale in boosting its development and design work in Japan, upgrading and expanding ground control center operations, as well as engineering, procurement, and business development capabilities in the UK. The company plans to open an office in the US in 2019.

“This latest round of funding will allow us to accelerate our company in a leading position, especially in the field of debris removal,” said Astroscale’s founder and CEO Nobu Okada.

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“Seeing that Astroscale has capabilities in international governments, space agencies, and private companies to address the issue of space debris, INCJ continues to support Astroscale to find a solution to the threat of space debris, which is a potential bottleneck to the development of space industry,” said Mikihide Katsumata, President and COO of INCJ, commenting on the role Astroscale plays in the industry.

Astroscale’s current project includes ELSA-d, which is an End of Life Services by Astroscale – demonstration, a first debris capture demonstration mission. The project is to launch in early 2020 and will consist of two spacecraft, called a Chaser and a Target, that will be stacked together.

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According to the company, The Chaser will repeatedly release and capture the Target in a series of demonstrations that will help to showcase whether or not the technology is necessary for debris removal, including rendezvous & docking and proximity operations.

Image Credit: Space News