London-listed Seraphim Space Investment Trust has injected $12.5m into Tokyo-headquartered Astroscale, as the blossoming space sector takes hold internationally.
The Japanese space-tech firm also recently snagged $109m in a series F funding round.
With billionaire entrepreneurs pinning their next ventures on what lies beyond Earth – the market has become more financially accessible to smaller, but well-funded, satellite firms.
However, the sector welcoming more players, and more satellites, could exacerbate the mass of space debris currently orbiting the planet.
“Satellites currently have a small failure rate, but with thousands of satellites being launched each year, the risk posed by hundreds of dead satellites to operating spacecrafts is increasing,” Seraphim explained in a statement this morning.
Astroscale plans on offering on-orbit services to transport, inspect and extend the life of satellites, as well as remove them when their lifecycle is up.
The UK Space Agency in late October said it was to renew its efforts in tackling the “neglected” issue of space debris, amid concerns that the build up could damage satellites and impact the public’s use of satellite navigation (SatNav).
Space debris and orbital congestion is one of the largest issues in the global space sector, as it could cost launching companies millions in damaged satellites.
Though there is currently no internationally binding agreement on how to tackle to issue.
“The G7 pledge on space sustainability and the Paris Peace Forum’s “Net Zero Space” Declaration are part of a growing global call to take urgent action to reduce orbital debris and build a sustainable foundation for the growth of space,” Astroscale founder and CEO Nobu Okada said.
“This latest round of funding will dramatically accelerate our ability to make on-orbit servicing routine by 2030 and will allow us to pioneer safe and cost-effective space capabilities across the servicing ecosystem, expand regional facilities for mass production and support global hiring.”